Saturday, November 24, 2001

UNITED NATIONS The U.N. meeting to try to form a transitional government in Afghanistan has been delayed until Tuesday, a U.N. spokesman said yesterday.
The conference, which will take place in a village outside Bonn, Germany, had been scheduled to begin Monday. It was postponed a day to give the Afghan delegations time to confer, said Ahmad Fawzi, chief spokesman for the top U.N. envoy on Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi.
Mr. Fawzi said 20 to 30 Afghans will attend, representing the various ethnic groups in the country.
He said the conference will try to get the groups to agree on a provisional council that would run a post-Taliban Afghanistan until a transitional government is formed.
This meeting seeks “concrete steps to be followed to convene a provisional council, which would be composed of a fairly large and representative group” of Afghans,” he said.
The Taliban will not be represented at the meeting, but there will be representatives from the Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan.
Four delegations will attend, including the northern alliance, which now controls most of the country; a group of Afghan exiles based in Cyprus; another exiled group in Rome supporting the nation’s deposed king, Zahir Shah; and a predominantly Pashtun group of Afghans based in Peshawar, Pakistan.

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