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In Islamabad, Brahimi briefs Pakistani President on talks with Afghan leaders in Kabul

In Islamabad, Brahimi briefs Pakistani President on talks with Afghan leaders in Kabul

The United Nations chief envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, held a very “cordial and friendly” meeting with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, thanking the President for his country’s support of the UN’s efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan, UN officials said today.

Mr. Brahimi, who is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, had just arrived in Islamabad from Kabul, where he had held meetings with Afghan political leaders.

After receiving a briefing from Mr. Brahimi on the outcome of those talks, President Musharraf expressed 100 percent support for the Bonn Agreement, a sentiment repeated during a later meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, according to UN officials.

Ahmad Fawzi, the spokesman for Mr. Brahimi, told reporters in Islamabad that during yesterday’s talks, Afghan leaders had indicated their understanding for a multinational force to maintain security in Afghanistan – as specified in the Bonn agreement – and have imposed no conditions on its deployment, while asking numerous questions.

“There is no pressure from the UN on the Afghans and no pressure from the Afghans on the UN,” Mr. Fawzi stressed. “This is a collaborative effort. We are not going to impose anything on the Afghans.”

In response to questions about claims by the Northern Alliance that the multinational force should remain outside Kabul or that it was trying to keep the number of foreign troops in the capital low, Mr. Fawzi said that nothing had been determined yet and that the force would operate in cooperation with the new interim administration in Kabul once there was a Security Council mandate for it.

As for references to the Bonn agreement as being not representative of all the factions inside Afghanistan, Mr. Fawzi said that the accord had its flaws but “it is the best we could do during the time available.” He added that Mr. Brahimi had received yesterday a letter signed by General Rashid Dostum, a Northern Alliance leader, pledging his continued support for the envoy’s efforts and those of the international community to bring peace for Afghanistan. Mr. Dostum had earlier complained about the lack of seats in the interim administration for his party.

“‘We will continue to support the Bonn process and we will not allow anyone or anything to hamper the implementation of the Bonn accord and the transfer of power,’” Mr. Fawzi quoted Mr. Dostum as writing. Mr. Fawzi described the letter as “a very positive development and a very encouraging one indeed.”