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Tajikistan: Meeting With Rebel Leader Canceled

Dushanbe, 13 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Tajik presidential press secretary Zafar Saidov says that a planned meeting today between Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and rebel warlord Makhmud Khudoyberdyev did not take place.

Itar-Tass and Interfax earlier reported that the two had begun face-to-face talks at an army base in the capital Dushanbe. But Saidov told reporters today the only contact between Rakhmonov and Khudoberdyev has been on the telephone. He told reporters that Khudoberdyev, who began a mutiny against government forces over the weekend, has agreed to lay down his arms and resign as commander of his brigade.

There has been no confirmation from Khudoberdyev himself, who is reported to be at his headquarters near the southern city of Kurgan Teppe.