United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi arrived here Tuesday for talks with the new interim government of the war-shattered nation.
Brahimi's talks were also expected to discuss potential snags over the deployment of a UN-mandated international peacekeeping force.
The UN envoy met Abdullah Abdullah, the future foreign minister in the government due to take office on December 22, said Brahimi's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi.
"He (Brahimi) is in Kabul today to talk to the leadership about a smooth transition of power on the 22nd of December," Fawzi said ahead of the meeting with Abdullah.
Brahimi was later due to meet future defence minister General Mohammad Qasim Fahim and outgoing president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
He may also have talks with Hamid Karzai, who will head the interim cabinet agreed last week in historic talks in Bonn, Fawzi said.
Abdullah said at the start of the talks: "We are all hopeful, optimistic for seeing a lasting peace and settlement for the conflict in Afghanistan.
"We hope that this moment will be a historical moment for Afghanistan."
The Northern Alliance, which holds power in the country after toppling the Taliban, insisted Monday it would not withdraw all its soldiers from Kabul, despite a pledge in Boon to demilitarize the city before the deployment of the peacekeepers.
A top aide to interim defence minister Fahim also told AFP the peacekeepers would not be allowed to patrol Kabul – Kabul (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)