At UN talks Afghan factions near agreement on interim arrangements

Representatives from the Northern Alliance, the Rome group, the Peshawar group and the Cyprus group worked through the weekend on the seven-page document, which was put forward by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi.The text deals with the creation of an Interim Authority, for a likely period of six months, composed of an Interim Administration and a special Independent Commission for the Convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga. The draft agreement also refers to a Supreme Court and to the need for deploying a multinational force as early as possible, while stressing that responsibility for security rests with the Afghan authorities themselves. Until such time as the Afghans themselves can build an army and a police force, the international community may assist them if requested to do so. According to Mr. Brahimi’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi, the parties appear to be in agreement on all issues as they carefully review the Pashto and Dari translations to make sure that they are no discrepancies between them. Among other tasks ahead, the Afghan groups will also need to finalize a list of names that could be part of an Interim Administration for Afghanistan. read more