Bonn moot to elect leadership council

Published November 23, 2001

KABUL, Nov 22: A meeting of Afghan groups to be held next week in Germany will elect a leadership council to oversee the transfer of power to a broad-based government, a senior Northern Alliance leader said on Thursday.

Interior Minister Yunus Qanuni said the election of a Shoora and agreement on a framework for a future Afghan government were the main aims of the U.N.-brokered meeting to open on Monday in the Petersberg castle in Bonn.

“The meeting in Germany is a preliminary meeting,” Qanuni said in an interview.

“Our minimum requirement will be to reach an agreement on the framework of a future interim government.”

Qanuni will lead a 15-member Northern Alliance delegation to Germany. Other delegations will include one representing former king Zahir Shah.

Qanuni said a Shoora would be elected which in turn would finalize a working team to draw up a mechanism for the transfer of power to an interim government.

“This working team will start work in Afghanistan immediately after the meeting,” Qanuni said.

He gave no timeframe for the creation of a new government but, referring to decades of Afghan conflict, cautioned that “this 23-year-old issue cannot be resolved in a short time”.

ALLIANCE READY TO YIELD: The Northern Alliance, dominated by minority Tajiks and Uzbeks, has insisted it would heed international calls to yield power to a government representing Afghanistan’s broad ethnic mix.

“We are not proud of controlling power and keeping it in our own hands,” Qanuni said. “We believe we should have a government of national unity.”—Reuters

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