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Afghan Groups Sign Agreement on Interim Government - 2001-12-05


Four Afghan factions have signed a landmark agreement to form a post-Taleban interim government.

The U-N sponsored power-sharing agreement was signed in Bonn, Germany, where delegates have been meeting for nine days to shape the future of their war-torn country.

The interim government will be headed by prominent Pashtun tribal leader Hamid Karzai, who is currently in southern Afghanistan fighting to oust the Taleban from its last remaining stronghold, Kandahar. He told V-O-A by telephone he is honored to be chosen for the post and will do everything he can to bring peace to Afghanistan.

The interim government will include 29-other members, including two women. The dominant Northern Alliance will hold the key foreign, interior and defense ministries.

Under the U-N brokered deal, the interim government reflecting all Afghan ethnic groups is to rule for about six months until a grand assembly of tribal leaders (-- or Loya Jirga) is held. The assembly is to appoint a new administration, which will rule for 18 months and set the stage for elections.

The Afghan factions also agreed to request the United Nations to consider mandating a peacekeeping force for Kabul.

The hard-line Islamic Taleban movement was not invited to participate in the Bonn talks.

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