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November 21, 2001
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Rabbani calls for end to warfare in Afghanistan

President of the Northern Alliance-led government in Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani has called for an end to the warfare and said he was not opposed to individual Talebans who have not committed crimes being part of a broad-based government in the country.

It is time to end the warfare and to start the process of rebuilding 'this ruined country', he said in an interview to CNN in Kabul.

"From now on, what we ask from America and the international community is that instead of sending in their military, the world should send in their peace forces - their forces for reconstruction to rebuild this ruined country."

Stating that he was prepared to have a broad-based alliance in power, as envisioned by the UN, Rabbani said, "We came to Kabul to bring peace and to ensure security and to pave the way to invite Afghan groups to come here and start the peace process."

He said though he accepted UN proposal to have the first gathering on various Afghan factions in a foreign country (Germany), the decision-making process for peace should be held in Afghanistan.

"Our first consultations can be somewhere else. But I insist that we must take all the decisions on finalising the peace process inside Afghanistan," Rabbani, who returned to Kabul last week after its recapture by the Alliance forces from Taleban, said.

Rabbani said he was not against individual Taleban members who have not committed crimes being part of a broad-based government, but opposed the militia's participation in the government as a group.

Asked if he was pleased about the US actions in Afghanistan during the past two months, Rabbani said: "We agree with the international struggle against terrorism."

"We always said that when they attack the terrorist bases, the people of Afghanistan must not be attacked and I think that the war is almost over," he said.

In another interview with Russia's Vremya Novostei daily, he said he expected only limited progress could be achieved at multi-party Afghan talks scheduled to be held in Germany next week.

"We hope that this will be the last conference of its sort to be held outside Afghanistan," Rabbani said.

"The Berlin meeting is important, but does not the touch the most prominent problems," he said.

"The most vital problems have to be discussed within Afghanistan, and not outside its border," he said.

The newspaper quoted Rabbani as saying that he viewed the Berlin meeting as 'insignificant'.

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