Tough talk ahead for Afghan delegates
Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 09:54 GMT BBC News
Brahimi's spokesman Ahmed Fawzi answers questions
Delegates at UN-sponsored talks on the future of Afghanistan face tough negotiations as the second day of the conference is due to begin.
The first day of the conference, held near Bonn, Germany, ended with optimism, if few clear indications on what was to be decided in the next few days.
Representatives of four Afghan factions are meeting the UN chairman of the talks, Lakhdar Brahimi, in a session postponed from Tuesday evening.
The delegates are expected to begin more detailed and complex negotiations towards the establishment of a fully representative, broad-based government.
The BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Barnaby Mason, says there are already arguments about the sequence and pace of measures which the UN is hoping to choreograph.
Click here for a who's who of the Afghan power brokers.
One possibility is to form a small interim executive, which would run the country for several months.
The interim executive could then appoint a larger council, or parliament, of about 150 people.
Or, the BBC correspondent says, the sequence could be reversed so that a larger parliament would appoint a government.
The exiled king and women's organisations want to take part
The exiled Afghan King, Zahir Shah, is expected to play an important role in an interim government, and Afghan women's organisations are also clamouring to be a part of any administration.
Another question is when a traditional tribal assembly, a loya jirga, should be convened in Afghanistan to give the process a stamp of legitimacy.
Two other difficult issues are national security: who will ensure it and how, and how the control of Kabul will be organised.
The capital is currently under the Northern Alliance's control, but the other factions prefer to have a multi-national, neutral force there.
Some diplomats said they thought it was unlikely that an interim agreement would be reached at the conference.
The alliance, still in control of large areas of Afghanistan, favours going slowly, but the other three factions, mostly Pashtun, want swifter action.
Nonetheless, there is considerable optimism about the outcome.
Yunus Qanooni, head of the alliance delegation, said: "I have come to Bonn with high expectations.
"Our people have behind them a golden era of resistance against oppression. But we are in a new era."
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