331. Telegram 5090 From the Embassy in Afghanistan to the Department of State 1 2

Conte Amendment


  • Kabul 4515
At first opportunity since Farhadi’s return from Rabat conference, I called on him Oct. 5 and noted that month had elapsed since my previous approach concerning acquisition SU-7 aircraft (reftel).
He said that following my earlier call he had discussed matter with King, PriMin and Min Def. Latter assured him that aircraft intended as replacement aircraft for planes which either have crashed or older aircraft to be removed from Afghan forces in view spiraling costs of maintenance. Min Def also said all negotiations for SU-7s had been concluded before Jan. 2, 1968 and he would provide Farhadi all pertinent details in near future.
Farhadi told me he believes King and others realize seriousness of Conte issue and fact that Embassy, as well as executive branch, had no option but to investigate thoroughly and enforce law if facts so indicate. He, therefore, expects full RGA cooperation although he has had some difficulties with Pri Min who has appeared very concerned over question [Page 2] whether amendment constitutes “condition” or political “string” to US aid.
I expect to see King within next two weeks (he will be in southern provinces until Oct 11) to follow up these preliminary steps at Fon Off level.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 19–6 USSR–AFG. Confidential.
  2. Afghani Deputy Foreign Minister Farhadi assured Ambassador Neumann that the SU–7s were purchased as replacement aircraft, and that the agreement to do so was negotiated before January 2, 1968. Therefore, the Conte amendment should not come into play.