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SOVIETS BOLSTER AID WHILE WORKING ON AFGHAN PEACE

SHARE SOVIETS BOLSTER AID WHILE WORKING ON AFGHAN PEACE

The Soviet Union has stepped up aid to Afghanistan's government while edging forward in talks for a political end to the 12-year-old war, a senior U.S. diplomat said Saturday.

Moscow spends $500 million a month on arms and aid to its allies in Kabul, up from a previous high of $300 million, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity."The regime is divided and weak and totally dependent on the Soviet Union, just like us in Vietnam. The Soviet Union is sending $5 billion a year in military and humanitarian aid to Kabul," he said.

The Moslem guerrillas, known as mujahedeen or Islamic holy warriors, get $600 million annually in military assistance from the United States. They also receive aid from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other sympathetic Arab states.

The Moslem insurgents have been fighting for 12 years to unseat Afghanistan's Communist-style government and establish an Islamic republic.