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Annan Welcomes Afghan Accord - 2001-12-05

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has welcomed the outcome of the Afghan talks in Bonn in which an accord to form an interim government was signed. Mr Annan says the arrangement calls on the United Nations to play a multi-faceted role in Afghanistan. While a political agreement has been reached, a multinational security force will have to wait until the United States agrees to it.

The Secretary-General says the accord is an important step toward achieving a lasting peace and a return to a legitimate authority in Afghanistan. The agreement calls for a multinational peacekeeping force to be mandated by the U.N. Security Council, but approval from the United States remains a key issue.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Fred Eckhard, says Mr. Annan congratulated all parties concerned in the accord - particularly the Afghan delegations - and assured them of the United Nations' involvement. "He wishes to assure the Afghan people, who have endured terrible suffering during the last two decades, that the United Nations stands ready to help them reach peace, stability and prosperity, and he trusts member states will provide the necessary resources and support," he said.

In addition to a multinational peacekeeping force, the new government in Afghanistan will need billions of dollars in international aid to reconstruct the war-torn country.