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Tajikistan: Peace Talks Break Off Again

Dushanbe, 17 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati is quoted as saying Tajik peace talks in Teheran have again broken down but are expected to resume in Teheran in two weeks.

Velayati is quoted today by the Itar-Tass news agency. The news agency says Velayati is in Dushanbe for a one-day visit, and is expected formally to invite President Imomoli Rakhmonov to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Teheran in December. Velayati and Tajik officials are also expected to discuss regional issues.

A new round of Tajik peace talks opened in Teheran this month, but then broke down last week over opposition charges that some of its members are being detained in Moscow. Moscow and Dushanbe at first denied the allegation, but Rakhmonov later admitted several opposition leaders are being held by Russian authorities.

Talks resumed yesterday, with the parties saying they hoped to concentrate on granting political status to three opposition parties banned in 1993. A ceasefire agreement was reached in December, ending years of fighting. Talks on a formal settlement have continued.