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1986 - United States President Ronald Reagan assured Afghan fighters of his “unshakeable commitment” to their battle against Soviet occupation forces, but declined to agree to give them diplomatic recognition. “We will not let you down,” Reagan said in a written statement after the Oval Office meeting with four Mujahideen leaders. They pressed Reagan and top officials for increased military and humanitarian support. “My message to the resistance delegation was simple,” Reagan said in a written statement. “In your struggle to regain your nation’s independence, the American people stand with you. This policy has broad and deep bipartisan support.” Congress reportedly approved $500 million (Dh1.83 billion) in secret military aid for the fighters.

Other important events

1779 - Spain declares war on Britain and begins a four-year siege of Gibraltar.

1884 - The first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, Brooklyn.

1917 - The first All-Russian Congress of the Soviets is convened.

1920 - Council of League of Nations holds first public meeting in London.

1944 - Iceland adopts its constitution.

1958 - Imre Nagy, the former prime minister of Hungary, is executed in Budapest.

1963 - The first woman space traveller, Valentina Tereshkova, is launched into orbit.

1968 - Lee Trevino becomes the first Spanish-American golfer to win a major American title when he wins the US Open.

1976 - Bloody rioting erupts in Soweto, South Africa, 600 die in months of racial upheaval.

1977 - Leonid Brezhnev named the president of the USSR.

1979 - Ignatius Acheampong, Ghana’s former head of state, is executed.

1983 - Yuri Andropov is elected President of Soviet Union.

1992 - US and Russia agree to slash their arsenals of long-range nuclear weapons by two-thirds.

1997 - The Irish Republican Army kills two police officers in Northern Ireland.

1998 - Afghanistan’s Taliban orders the closing of more than 100 private schools that had been educating girls.

2001 - US President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin meet for the first time in Slovenia.

2003 - Emirates awards Airbus and Boeing the biggest orders in global aviation history, valued at $19 billion (Dh69.88 billion) for 71 aircraft.

2004 - Twenty people are killed and around 100 injured when a passenger train plunges off a bridge in western India after hitting a boulder.

2006 - The leader of Nepal’s Maoist rebels announces a landmark agreement to make his followers part of the government for the first time.

2012 - Saudi Crown Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz dies at the age of 79.

2015 - Former Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi is sentenced to life for espionage.