DATE=8/30/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN / AFGHAN / TURKMENISTAN (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-265985 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Regional leaders are stepping up efforts to promote peace in war-town Afghanistan. In the latest effort, a delegation from Turkmenistan has arrived in Pakistan to discuss the civil war, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Afghanistan and destroyed much of the country's infrastructure. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad. TEXT: A former foreign minister of Turkmenistan, Boris Sheikh Muradov, is leading the delegation. Mr. Muradov is in Pakistan after visiting Afghanistan and Iran, where he says he discussed ways to bring an end to the Afghan civil war. Mr. Muradov is due to hold similar talks with authorities in Pakistan. He says he hopes his mission will promote dialogue for peace between Afghanistan's Taleban movement and its opposition forces. /// Muradov Act /// There is a very good chance to stop the bloodshed in Afghanistan and to start new era in Afghan development. I base my optimism on the idea that very important neighboring countries now consider (the ruling) Taleban a reality in Afghanistan and they would like to develop all kinds of dialogue and cooperation with the Afghan government. /// End Act /// Among Afghanistan's neighbors, Pakistan and Turkmenistan support the hard-line Taleban movement, which controls most of the country. Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan support the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance that holds the remaining 10 percent of the country. The United Nations and international community do not recognize Taleban sovereignty over Afghanistan. Mr. Muradov says his country does not share the concerns expressed by other Central Asian states about the Taleban's alleged support for Islamic terrorism. A plan to transport natural gas from land-locked Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan to Pakistan and beyond has long been considered, but it requires peace in Afghanistan. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/JP 30-Aug-2000 11:10 AM LOC (30-Aug-2000 1510 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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