Brahimi Appeals to Northern Alliance\'s Rabbani to be Flexible

Published December 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

UN special representative for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi has appealed personally in a telephone call to the political leader of the Northern Alliance, ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani, to unblock the stalled Bonn peace talks by being flexible, a delegate said Saturday. 

"Mr Brahimi has personally called on president Rabbani. There is pressure that we reach an agreement," Hussain Anwari told AFP. 

"Today, there will be some new developments," he added, without elaborating. 

Anwari said that the Bonn talks which had continued until 4:00 am (0300 GMT) Saturday would resume later in the morning. 

He said that the Northern Alliance and the UN sponsors of the conference had different expectations of the Bonn meeting. 

The Alliance's delegation, headed by their political heavy-weight interior minister Yunus Qanooni, had hoped that details like nomination of members to proposed interim new ruling bodies would be discussed in Kabul after an agreement in principle was secured in Bonn. 

But this is not what the United Nations and other groups want. They want as full an agreement as possible in Bonn, including the names of people who would head the new bodies. 

"In view of the current demands of the gathering, we should have come here with a broader and a deeper consideration," said Anwari, who is from the Northern Alliance delegation. 

He explained that the delegation could not ignore the views of those back in Afghanistan who had been fighting against the Taliban and their backers for years. 

"We cannot ignore the presence of those (like Rabbani) who have resisted in the past several years against the Taliban and the Pakistanis," he said. 

"If everything is solved outside the country then what is going to happen there?" he asked. 

But Anwari added that the Alliance leadership was trying to convince Rabbani to approve the blueprint of the Bonn meeting. 

"We are not a hurdle to the talks, rather, we are resolved to reach an agreement here," he assured. "Efforts are being made to convince our friends (in Kabul)." 

Alliance delegation leader Qanooni is apparently under tremendous pressure at the Bonn talks from the international observers present, the United Nations, and other negotiators to strike a power-sharing deal. 

Some members of his own delegation have reportedly also been urging him to finalize the agreement irrespective of Rabbani's resistance. 

The UN sponsors and Afghan participants in the talks, which opened Tuesday, have given themselves until Saturday to reach agreement on details of a new interim Afghan government -- BONN, Dec 1 (AFP) 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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