Forty Years Ago: September 15, 1978
The Soviet Union proposed to India that they jointly draw a trade development expansion plan into the 10-year plan worked out by the two. The Soviet Union agreed to meet in part India’s chronic cement shortages and offered to build up capacities in India for cement and coking coal. It also agreed to continue supply of crude oil beyond the stipulated three-year period ending 1980. These decisions emerged at the end of three days of talks the external affairs minister, A B Vajpayee, had with the Soviet leaders.
Vajpayee On China
At a press conference in Moscow, External Affairs Minister A B Vajpayee said he had given a categorical assurance to the Soviet Union that “India would not normalise its relations with China at the cost of dependable friends like the Soviet Union”.
West Asia Talks
Israeli sources said they were making major concessions at Camp David to prevent failure of the talks. While there are many things to be ironed out, including the future of Jewish settlements and Israel’s right to defend the areas, Israel has reportedly agreed in principle to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza, giving Jordan complete police powers on the West Bank and permitting Palestinian refugees to return to the West Bank.
Nicaragua President Anastasio Somoza declared martial law as National Guards clashed with guerilla-led rebels trying to overthrow him. The decree, which Somaza said will last 30 days, suspends constitutional guarantees. Earlier, Somoza sent battle-weary troops to north-western Nicaragua to dislodge rebels dug in at three key cities in a fight to control the country. Government sources said troops, tired from five days of battling insurgents in Masaya and other cities, were moved toward the cities of Leon, Esteli and Chinadega.