Accessibility links

Breaking News

Afghan Talks Reach Critical Stage - 2001-12-02

United Nations officials and international diplomats are pressuring four Afghan groups meeting in Germany to approve a draft accord for the creation of a new interim authority that would rule Afghanistan for the next six months. The U.N. says the conference will last for at least another day, because the factions have not yet agreed on who should be members of the new administration.

U.N. officials say the four groups are poring over the draft, which was submitted to them by U.N. mediators. U.N. spokesman Ahmad Fawzi describes the draft as a distillation of the ideas and points of view of all four factions.

The U.N. is urgently seeking agreement on the main item in the draft accord, the creation of an interim administration that would have up to 30 members.

But Mr. Fawzi says the main obstacle to approval of the draft is that the groups, after six days of talks near Bonn, have still not decided who should be in the administration. "The missing link is the list of names," he said. "We feel it is important that we discuss and finalize a list of names in Bonn."

The draft accord also provides for a special council that would convene a traditional assembly of Afghan tribal elders and a supreme court. It mentions a symbolic role for Afghanistan's former king, and it calls for deployment of a multinational security force.