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Talks fail on UN force for Afghanistan

December 31, 2001

KABUL, Dec 30: Talks between the Afghan government and British military officials, expected to yield a final agreement on the deployment of a UN-mandated peacekeeping force, ended without result on Sunday.

Kabul, which earlier announced a deal on the details of the controversial corps, also backed down from its request for a halt to US air strikes in the country.

Afghanistan’s Interior Minister Yunus Qanooni’s secretary, Frydon, said after talks between Qanooni and British Major General John McColl, tipped to command the 3,000- to 4,000-strong peacekeeping force, said: “The talks are over.”

“There is no agreement. There is nothing to sign,” he said.

Hours earlier, Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah had said “an agreement has... been finalized” and that “it is important that (the deployment) starts soon,” adding: “We are all aware of the urgency of the situation.”—AFP