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U.N. Envoy Concerned About 'Foreign Interference' In Afghanistan

Islamabad, May 22 (RFE/RL) -- United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan, Mahmoud Mestiri, has expressed concern about what he calls "foreign interference" in Afghanistan. And Mestiri said this is one of the main factors impeding a solution of the Afghanistan conflict.

Mestiri said that despite "formidable obstacles," he believes a political settlement is "possible" through dialogue among factions, and the formation of a broad-based governing council in Afghanistan.

In a speech in Karachi, Pakistan yesterday, Mestiri did not define "foreign interference," but reports have spoken of arms supplies to various factions in Afghanistan by countries, including Russia, Iran, the gulf states and Pakistan.

Mestiri also expressed the hope that plans to build oil-and-natural gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan will prompt Afghan factions to pursue peace, in order to benefit from possible economic gains.