Afghan group tasked with reconciliation

Nov. 1, 2010 at 1:54 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A special group of international experts is called on to help a high peace council carry out its work in Afghanistan, a U.N. mission announced.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is pushing ahead with a reintegration and reconciliation program with members of the Taliban who renounce al-Qaida and embrace the rule of law. A 70-member committee led by former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani is tasked with steering the effort.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said it formed the so-called Salaam Support Group to help Rabbani's peace council carry out its work.

The Security Council mandate for UNAMA calls for it to help the government in Kabul develop the foundations for sustainability and development.

"This mandate includes the role of assisting national reconciliation and encouraging regional dialogue and engagement aimed at achieving and sustaining peace," the agency said in a statement.

Karzai laid out his plans to reconcile with certain members of the Taliban during a May visit to Washington.

The Security Council is examining the names of Taliban officials included on the so-called 1267 list of sanctioned individuals to help Karzai find suitable partners for peace.

"We commended the establishment of the high peace council, and indicated the United Nations availability, on behalf of the international community, to support the council technically in their future work and activities," said UNAMA.

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