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November 20, 2001
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UN trying to convene meeting on Afghanistan

The United Nations was making hectic efforts to convene a meeting of various Afghan groups on Saturday in Berlin. But the task was getting bogged down due to difficulty in bringing the rival factions together, diplomats and officials have said.

UN special envoy to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi is "aiming" for a meeting on November 24 in Berlin to try to find an alternative to the routed Taleban, Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN Gennady Gatilov said.

Brahimi held discussions with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the Afghan issue on Monday.

The Afghan groups agreed in principle to holding talks for a broad-based government, but there was no consensus beyond that point, diplomats said.

They said citing reports from Kabul that UN deputy special envoy Francesc Vendrell, who was in the city, was trying to persuade the various groups but had not met with much success.

The victorious Northern Alliance was also in no particular hurry to convene a meeting on the future political set-up, they said.

PTI

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