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UN Special Envoy Returns with Mixed Report

UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks last week with the Taliban militia in an attempt to ease the tension between Afghanistan and Iran. The build-up of troops along the Iranian-Afghan border has continued to increase since August, when members of the Taliban killed eight Iranian diplomats while taking control of Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

Brahimi reported that the tension between the two countries began to defuse when the Taliban agreed to release all of the Iranian prisoners held in Afghanistan. Although both countries continue to stock their common border with military personnel, the possibility of a face-to-face talk between Iran and the Taliban looks hopeful.

Fighting within Afghanistan shows no sign of ceasing. The ongoing fighting between the Taliban and its opponents has prevented humanitarian groups, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, from entering the country and administering aid which is desperately needed during such heightened conflict.

Sources:

AFP - October 19, 1998