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U-N Security Council Endorses Afghan Agreement - 2001-12-07


The United Nations Security Council has unanimously endorsed the agreement among anti-Taleban factions on a transitional Afghan government.

The resolution endorsing the deal was sponsored by Britain and France. The Security Council called on all Afghan groups to cooperate with the interim authority, which is set to take power December 22nd.

The Security Council put off a decision on the contentious issue of whether to authorize a multi-national military force to support the new Afghan administration. // opt // Diplomats say the United States wanted to include a reference to the force in the resolution. But they say other council members have questions about which country would lead the force and how it would coordinate with the U-S-led military operation in Afghanistan. // end opt //

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. But bickering continues, with two powerful anti-Taleban leaders voicing reservations about the power-sharing accord.

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. The Dostum faction reportedly wanted the foreign ministry in the new cabinet. 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 -- also has complained that the Bonn deal is 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 in six months.

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

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