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Tajikistan: Government Committed To Peace

Teheran, 20 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Tajik Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov said today that his government is committed to peace agreements reached over the weekend with the country's Islamic opposition.

He made the remark in Tehran, where the Tajik government and Islamic opposition ended peace talks yesterday.

Earlier today, Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani offered in Tehran to help rebuild war-torn Tajikistan. Rafsanjani was quoted by Iran's official news agency as saying Iran had many religious and cultural ties with Tajikistan and was thus interested in a bigger share in the country's reconstruction.

Yesterday's talks focused on efforts to form a national reconciliation commission agreed to last month between Tajik President Emomali Rakhmanov and rebel leader Abdullah Nuri.

The talks, headed by Nazarov and Nuri's deputy Akbar Turjanzadeh, failed to agree on the number of representatives each side will have in the commission, which is to lead to proportional representation in a post-war government.

Tajikistan's neo-communist forces and Islamic rebels have been fighting since Rakhmanov toppled an Islamic-democratic coalition in December 1992. Iran, which supports the opposition, and Russia, which backs the Dushanbe government, launched a diplomatic drive under UN auspices three years ago to end the fighting.