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Tajikistan: U.S. Urges An End To Fighting

Washington, 5 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The United States has called for an end to renewed fighting in Tajikistan and urged the parties to return to negotiations.

U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said today the latest outbreak of hostilities in the town of Gharm and the Karotegin Valley in the eastern region is the most serious violation of ceasefire agreements concluded in July and September.

He said the fighting this week was initiated by forces of the United Tajik Opposition against the government but that both sides have violated the ceasefire.

A general ceasefire was concluded under United Nations mediation in July and a local ceasefire was called in September.

Burns said the ceasefires were an important step toward resolving Tajikistan's civil conflict. Renewed military activity only complicates the process of national reconciliation, he said.

Burns said the United States "calls on both the opposition and the government to end the fighting and return to the negotiating table."