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Tajikistan: Reconciliation Commission To Meet Soon

Dushanbe, 1 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United Nations' envoy to Tajikistan says a Tajik reconciliation comission will meet within a week to begin charting the nation's future following years of civil war.

Gerd Dietrich Merrem told a press conference in Dushanbe the National Commission for Reconciliation will focus on an announced amnesty for all participants in the civil war, which left tens of thousands dead.

The commission, to be chaired by Islamic opposition leader Sayid Abdullo Nuri, must also work out constitutional changes and prepare elections for a new parliament, which must take place before the end of 1998.

Last Friday in Moscow, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Nuri signed a final peace agreement.

Meanwhile, Merrem also said the U.N. would consider increasing its presence in Tajikistan. Many U.N. military observers left Tajikistan in February after armed Tajik fighters took hostage several U.N employees, Russian journalists and the Tajik security minister.