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Afghanistan: Former President Calls On Turkey To Mediate

Ankara, 16 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- RFE/RL correspondents report that during a private visit to Ankara, Professor Sibgattullah Mujeddedi, the first and interim president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, called on Turkey to help bring Afghanistan's warring factions to the negotiating table.

After the fall of Kabul to Taliban Islamic forces last month, Turkey had offered to help mediate a ceasefire and settlement, but received no reaction from the warring factions. Turkey's Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller has repeated Ankara's willingess to mediate, but only under United Nations sponsorship.

In an interview published in the Islamist Zaman newspaper today, Mujeddedi said he believes Turkey had an important role to play in resolving the conflict, and hopes to meet Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan.

Mujeddedi headed an exile mujahdin coalition government based in Pakistan before taking power in Kabul, following the fall of the Communist government there in April 1992. A year later, he turned power over to Burhanuddin Rabbani.