Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu yesterday indirectly joined mounting international condemnation of the Soviet Union's large-scale military intervention in Afghanistan.
China also strongly condemned the Soviet action, as did the wealthy Arab oil states of the Arabian Peninsula.
By contrast, staunch Soviet ally Vietnam sent a message pledging "resolute support" for the new pro-Soviet Afghan regime, according to Radio Hanoi.
Ceausescu, who has frequently broken ranks with other East European nations on foreign policy issues in the past, told diplomats in Bucharest that 80 percent of the world's people would favor "putting an end to the policies of domination, force and interference in the affairs of other states."
Although he refrained from mentioning the Soviet Union by name, the Romanian president said "We hope that . . . it will be understood that force must be renounced and that the right of all peoples to independence must be respected."
Peking's New China News Agency denounced the Soviet intervention as a "challenge to Asia and to the entire international community."
In private discussions, Chinese leaders said they believed the Afghan action was part of a Soviet strategy to eventually secure control of oil supplies anti-sea routes to the Persian Gulf and that this presented a serious threat to world peace.
Saudi Arabia led a chorus of condemnations from the Arab states of the Arabian Peninsula, including Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Two themes were apparent in the Arab reactions to the bold Russian power play: indignation over the violation of Afghanistan's sovereignty and fear it could provoke a great power conflagration in their strategic, but volatile region.
In Tehran, meanwhile, the Moslem students occupying the U.S. Embassy condemned the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan as "eastern imperialism," according to the state radio.