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Progress Reported in Talks on Afghan Parliament


A member of Afghanistan's parliament leaves a meeting hall at the Inter-continental hotel in Kabul, 22 Jan 2011

A member of Afghanistan's parliament leaves a meeting hall at the Inter-continental hotel in Kabul, 22 Jan 2011

Afghanistan's parliament could start work in the coming week, following long talks Saturday between elected lawmakers and President Hamid Karzai.

Afghan lawmakers say Mr. Karzai has offered to convene parliament Wednesday, apparently backing away from a plan to delay the opening session by a month.

The talks between the two sides began Saturday, with lawmakers threatening to convene parliament with or without the support of the Afghan president.

Earlier this week, Mr. Karzai said he would postpone the parliament's inaugural meeting by a month, saying Afghanistan's election court asked for more time to investigate fraud claims related to the September 18 election.

The United Nations and Western nations have been calling on the Afghan president to convene parliament "as soon as possible."

A majority of incoming members of parliament had previously agreed Thursday to convene the body on January 23 with or without the president's approval.

Meanwhile, NATO forces two troops died during a roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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