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Turkmenistan: Turkey Offers To Host Afghan Conference

By Mohammad Nazar

Ankara, 20 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Turkey is the latest country to offer to host a conference on the Afghanistan conflict. But, Turkish reports today say rival faction leaders would be invited to a conference Ankara wants to hold under sponsorship of the United Nations.

Kyrgyzstan this week also offered to host an Afghan conference following a meeting at U.N. headquarters. Eighteen countries were represented at the U.N. meeting, including Russia and Central Asian states, but not Afghan faction leaders.

Afghan faction leaders have criticized the U.N. meeting, saying their interests were not represented.

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali issued a statement saying the U.N. meeting has sent a "resounding message to the Afghan factions" that there is no military solution. Boutros-Ghali's statement also said those who attended the U.N. meeting want an immediate cease-fire, which most feel should include the demilitarization of Kabul.

The U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, German diplomat Norbert Holl, had held talks in Islamabad among Afghan faction leaders this month, in advance of the U.N. meeting. There was also a conference on the Afghanistan conflict in Almaty last month. That meeting was attended by Russia and Central Asian states, except Turkmenistan.