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UN reports Afghan sides moving closer to agreement

UN reports Afghan sides moving closer to agreement at Bonn talks

29 November - As United Nations-sponsored talks among Afghan representatives entered their third day in Petersberg, Germany, UN officials reported that the sides were getting closer - but had not yet reached - an agreement on future power-sharing arrangements.

"We are hoping that we can have a final agreement here on the composition of both entities - both the supreme council and the interim administration," said Ahmad Fawzi, the spokesman for Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi. The delegates, he added, "see the urgency of a handover of power in Kabul, and they think that these groups should be formed in Bonn."

Mr. Brahimi today met together with all of the factions - the Northern Alliance, the Rome group, the Cyprus group and the Peshawar group - following a series of separate meetings he held with them last night.

In addition to the talks amongst and between the Afghan groups, a meeting was held between a delegation of European women leaders and the Afghan women representatives attending the talks. The European delegation - Britt Thorin of Sweden, Anne-Marie Lizin of Belgium and Karin Junker of Germany - highlighted the important role of women in building Afghanistan's future.

Reporting on the meeting, Mr. Fawzi said the Afghan women had expressed gratitude to the delegation of European women leaders for their support, and recounted "the long suffering and suppression of women during the long years of war, especially during the past five years, and said that they were glad that they were now going to have the opportunity to resume their traditional and historical roles as active members of Afghanistan society in all fields."


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