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UN: New Afghan Government Should Be Homegrown - 2001-10-23

The top United Nations representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, says any political solution there must be "homegrown."

After conferring with the U.N. Security Council in a closed session, Mr. Brahimi told reporters he will soon visit Afghanistan's neighboring nations to meet with a wide variety of Afghan leaders. He said the composition and structure of a new government in Afghanistan must be "homegrown."

"Nobody wants any arrangements that are imposed on Afghanistan. The Afghans would not accept that and the international community, I think, understands that," Mr. Brahimi says. "We in the U.N. would definitely not be a party to anything like that."

Mr. Brahimi says his efforts are receiving strong support from all 15 members of the U.N. Security Council. The United Nations is trying to encourage the development of a broad based and truly representative coalition government to replace the Taleban in Afghanistan.

British ambassador Jeremy Greenstock said it is important for the people of Afghanistan to understand that the international community will not abandon them once a new government is established.

"The international community is now committing itself to the long-term future and economic stability of Afghanistan as well as to a new political structure that will serve that," Mr. Greenstock said. "It is going to be a commitment of years, not just weeks or months, to the people of Afghanistan who deserve something different from the failed state that they have had to live in for some years now."

Mr. Greenstock said it is too early to predict whether the United Nations will provide security in Afghanistan through a multi-national peacekeeping force.