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Afghanistan Donor Conference Continues In Berlin - 2001-12-06


An international donors conference for Afghanistan is in its second and final day in Berlin.

U-N and Western officials convened the conference to coordinate economic and reconstruction aid for the new Afghanistan interim government. U-N officials say a five-year plan is needed for rebuilding the war-torn country.

Four Afghan factions agreed Wednesday -- after days of intense negotiations in Bonn -- on a transitional government to be headed by ethnic Pashtun leader Hamid Karzai.

World leaders, including President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, praised the agreement.

However, two powerful anti-Taleban leaders have voiced reservations about the power-sharing arrangement.

The ethnic Uzbek leader General Abdul Rashid Dostum says his faction did not get a fair representation in the new administration, and that he may boycott the interim government.

Reuters news agency reports the Dostum faction wanted the foreign ministry in the new cabinet, but instead it got two lesser positions - the ministries of agriculture and mining and industries.

The leader of the Pakistan-based Peshawar Group - Pir Sayed Ahmed Gailani - has also complained the Bonn deal was not balanced. The royalist Afghan spiritual leader says he remains hopeful that a grand assembly of Afghan leaders (Loya Jirga) will be able to appoint a more balanced government six months later.

Mr. Karzai's six-month transitional government will include 29- members from Afghanistan's major ethnic groups and political factions -- and women. The interim cabinet will run Afghanistan until an assembly of traditional chiefs (or Loya Jirga) is called to appoint an 18-month government that will work to set the stage for election within two years.

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