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Tajikistan: Opposition May Not Sign Peace Accord Tomorrow

Moscow, 26 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A senior Tajik opposition leader warns that a peace accord between the Tajik government and the opposition may not be signed in Moscow tomorrow unless two key issues are resolved -- prisoner exchanges and the allocation of posts in a new government.

Interfax quotes Khodzh-Akbar Turadzhonzadeh, number two in the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) coalition, as saying it will be impossible for the opposition to sign a peace accord with President Emomali Rakhmonov without agreement on the two issues.

Turadzhonzadeh said that representatives from both sides are holding consultations on the problems, and that he hopes the accord will still be signed on time. Rakhmonov arrived in Moscow today for talks with Said Abdullah Nuri, the leader of the UTO.

Tomorrow, the two sides were expected to sign a wide-ranging accord aimed at ending four years of civil war in Tajikistan. President Boris Yeltsin is due to attend the signing ceremony in the Kremlin.

Tajik presidential spokesman, Zafar Saidov, told ITAR-TASS earlier this week that the question of the opposition's role in a future cabinet is to be decided later by a joint commission for national reconciliation. He also said it was earlier agreed that the exchange of prisoners of war would be agreed upon during further talks after the signing of the general accord.

Later today, Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov will hold talks with his counterparts from Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Russia and the three countries all played a role in achieving last year's ceasefire between the Tajik government and the UTO.