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Pakistan Renews Support for UN Peacekeeping Force in Afghanistan - 2001-12-12

The U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, has met with leaders in Pakistan to discuss international efforts aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan.

U.N. spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told reporters Wednesday the meeting between Mr. Brahimi and the Pakistani leader was "friendly" and "cordial". He said General Pervez Musharraf reiterated his support for U.N. efforts to bring peace to neighboring Afghanistan.

The United Nations envoy arrived in Islamabad from Kabul, where he met Afghan leaders to discuss the transfer of power to a post-Taleban administration on December 22.

Mr. Fawzi says a proposed multinational security force to support the new Afghan government was high on agenda in Mr. Brahimi's talks in Kabul. "Security is of paramount importance for the success and for the efficient transfer of power and for the efficient and effective work of the new administration," he said.

Mr. Fawzi said the U.N. Security Council would take a final decision on the multinational force in next few days but it would not be a traditional U.N. peacekeeping force. He said Afghan leaders are questioning the introduction of such a security force in the country but they are not against it.

"The force that will go in when it is deployed, such a force will be a friendly force going in to assist the people of Afghanistan [and] maintain security. Nothing is being imposed upon the Afghans. It is going to be done in full cooperation and collaboration with the Afghan administration of the day," he said.

Mr. Fawzi says all the Afghan leaders that Mr. Brahimi met in Kabul on Tuesday understand the need for the security force.

The spokesman says that ethnic Uzbek Afghan leader General Rashid Dostum has promised not to hinder the interim government. In a letter to the U.N. special envoy, Mr. Dostum said that regardless of his group's dissatisfaction with its position in the interim administration, it would continue supporting the U.N. efforts to bring peace and order to Afghanistan.