Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, today reached agreement with the President of Pakistan on principles that must guide the resolution of the Afghan conflict.
Mr. Brahimi met in Islamabad with President Pervez Musharraf Pakistan, who reaffirmed that the United Nations had a central role to play in the urgent effort to assist the Afghan people.
Explaining the points on which the two agreed, a UN spokesman said the unity of Afghanistan and its territorial integrity must be preserved. "A broad-based, multiethnic and fully representative Government must come into power, and the political dispensation must be home-grown and fully owned by the people of Afghanistan," spokesman Eric Falt told reporters in Islamabad. "We must also ensure that the future Government will maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours and not allow its territory to be used for hostile acts against its neighbours or anybody else."
Quoting Mr. Brahimi, the spokesman said the envoy had indicated that one of the key aspects at present was that "we don't see a formula emerging yet where those who are holding the gun will stop holding the rest of the country hostage."
Meanwhile in New York, answering questions from the press about the role of the Taliban in a new government, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the UN would want to see a broad-based government but the decision on who joins it was "for Afghans to make."