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Tajikistan: U.S. Diplomat Says Some Groups Feel Excluded From Talks

Prague, 9 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan Grant Smith told our correspondent in Dushanbe today that Washington supports the ongoing peace talks between the Tajik government and opposition.

Smith said that the United States does not have an observer at the talks in Tehran because Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Iran.

But Smith said the United States does have contacts with both negotiating sides and wants a solution to include all parts of the Tajik population. He said some Tajik groups feel excluded from the talks and that this could be a source for future violence. He said Tajikistan needs peace and stability .

The Tajik government and opposition leaders are in the second week of negotiations in Tehran. Our correspondent in the Iranian capital reports that there has been no progress in the talks since the signing of a peace accord in Moscow on December 23. The government side continues pushing for an advisory function for the planned National Reconciliation Commission. The opposition is demanding more legislative and executive powers for the commission.

Smith said that both sides should make concessions.