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Tajikistan: Agreement Reached On Refugee Return

Prague, 13 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Tajikistan's government and opposition have agreed to sign a protocol on repatriation of Tajik refugees. Our correspondent at inter-Tajik talks in Teheran reports a draft of the agreement states the government will safeguard the security of the returnees, make sure their property is restored, and help in their resettlement.

The sides yesterday said they were postponing decision on a "National Reconciliation Commission" to lead Tajikistan through a transition period of ceasefire and coalition government. The reason for the postponement is reported to be the serious gap between the positions of the two parties, including the number of the members of the commission as well as the share of each side on it. Both sides agreed to establish such a commission when they signed a peace agreement in Moscow last month.

The United Nations special envoy on the Tajikistan conflict, German diplomat Gerd Merrem, yesterday said talks between Tajikistan's government and the Islamic opposition were stalled.