351. Telegram 7282 From the Embassy in Afghanistan to the Department of State 1 2


  • Conversation With His Majesty and Foreign Minister—Narcotics


  • Kabul 7281
Introduction and summary: I saw His Majesty King Zahir and Foreign Minister Shafiq on evening of December 2, separately and together. Both discussed with me Afghanistan’s concern with narcotics. Other subjects septels.
Shafiq, in response to my observations about USG concern on narcotics, noted Secretary Rogers’ comments to him in New York and referred to USIS press release in Kabul highlighting President Nixon’s remarks on subject. Shafiq said RGA is taking subject very seriously and measures to review situation are under urgent study. He said Cabinet committee will definitely be established as result Cabinet decision at its last meeting. Only step remaining in this regard is selection of members. He stated committee would concentrate on two facets: first, economic and technical steps regarding substitute crops; and, second, improvement of enforcement. He expected foreign assistance would be needed for both. MFA will be “operational hub” for RGA, not because of its technical competence on subject [Page 2] but because of urgency and need for coordination with other countries. He said USG advice this far greatly appreciated and would be needed in future.
In conversation with His Majesty, I mentioned narcotics and HM noted he aware of USG concern and President’s personal interest, adding that he had immediately put RGA into action on this subject. He repeated steps taken as reported by Shafiq adding that RGA takes its responsibility on this subject very seriously and hoped that special Cabinet committee would begin talks on technical level with USG and international agencies soon. I reiterated USG grave concern about narcotics and deep inroads being made in US society. HM responded he understood but that it was not just US responsibility. He stated every country morally responsible; RGA cannot escape its part of global responsibility; and RGA will shoulder its share of burden.
Comment: We have no illusions about RGA capability to fulfill any technical responsibilities; but we will take every possible step to ensure these expressions of support on part of highest levels of RGA are translated into operational positions by those Ministries and officials concerned.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, SOC 11-5 AFG. Confidential. Repeated to Ankara and Paris.
  2. Ambassador Neumann reported that King Zahir and Foreign Minister Shafiq shared the U.S. concern about the flow of illegal narcotics from Afghanistan and were “taking the subject very seriously.”