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U.S. SAYS AFGHAN SOLUTION STYMIED BY SOVIET INACTION

SHARE U.S. SAYS AFGHAN SOLUTION STYMIED BY SOVIET INACTION

Chances of settling the 12-year war in Afghanistan have slipped because the Soviet Union has not come through on its promise of new proposals on the future of President Najibullah, the Bush administration said Friday.

The issue is the main sticking point in peace negotiations. Otherwise, the United States and the Soviets are in basic agreement to hold elections and take other steps to end fighting between Najibullah's forces and Moslem guerrillas.The Soviets, who had troops in Afghanistan from December 1979 until February 1989, are reluctant to undercut Najibullah; the Bush administration supports the guerrillas in trying to get him to yield power promptly while elections are held to form a new government.

Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze agreed last month in a meeting in Berlin to try to work out a compromise solution.

The Soviets were supposed to send experts on Afghanistan to Washington for talks before Baker's meeting next week in Paris with Shevardnadze.

But the Kremlin did not send the experts here, and Baker leaves on Monday for the French capital.