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Preparations for Afghan power transfer on track

Afghanistan: preparations for power transfer on track, Brahimi tells Security Council

14 December – Preparations for the transfer of power next week to the new Interim Authority for Afghanistan were proceeding "very well," Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, said today.

"I'm more than my usual cautious optimist," Mr. Brahimi said, speaking to reporters after briefing the Security Council in closed-door consultations.

"I'm less cautious this time about the 22nd," he said. "Everybody has something to complain about, including ourselves, but I think everybody is on board inside Afghanistan and the Council is extremely supportive and this is something we appreciate very much."

Mr. Brahimi said that he would be returning to Afghanistan next week for the transfer of power and intended to stay there for a few weeks afterwards "to accompany this process as the Afghans want us to."

Before briefing the Council this afternoon, Mr. Brahimi met with the Secretary-General, who also returned today to New York from Sweden to attend the Council meeting on Afghanistan.

Meanwhile in Kabul, Mr. Brahimi's deputy, Francesc Vendrell, held a series of talks yesterday with a number of Afghan leaders and other officials.

According to a UN spokesman in Kabul, Mr. Vendrell and Hamid Karzai, the chairman of the new Interim Authority, discussed the planned transfer of power on 22 December, the deployment of a multi-national security force and the general situation in Afghanistan.

ENDS

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