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DATE=8/27/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N - AFGHAN DEBATE (L-O) NUMBER=2-253206 BYLINE=BARBARA SCHOETZAU DATELINE=NEW YORK CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: At the United Nations Friday, the Security Council held a day-long debate on the situation in Afghanistan. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports. TEXT: U-N officials say more than 160-thousand people have been displaced in Afghanistan over the last month as a result of intense fighting between the Taleban and the United Front opposition. U-N officials estimate more than 18-hundred fighters from both sides have died. But the biggest impact of the renewed fighting, they say, is on the civilian population. Kieran Prendergast, the U-N Under-Secretary-General for political affairs, told the Security Council the Taleban - which claims to control 90 percent of Afghanistan - is mistreating civilian populations in areas under attack, destroying homes, livestock and crops in perceived enemy territory. Mr. Prendergast describes the political situation as a stalemate. He says the U-N mission in Afghanistan attempted to re-open talks between the Taleban and United Front leader Ahmad Shah Masood earlier in the month. /// PRENDERGAST ACT //// Commander Masoud indicated his continued readiness, despite the on-going fighting, to meet with the Taleban to discuss a political solution to Afghanistan's problems. He made it clear that he was not interested in surrender to the Taleban. With his consent, the U-N mission passed this message privately to the Taleban leadership in Kandahar. Mullah Omar's response was that the Taleban could not re-open direct talks with the United Front until they, in his words, "show their sincerity." /// END ACT /// The United Nations does not recognize the Taleban as the government of Afghanistan. Consequently, the Taleban's Representative-designate to the United Nations, Abdul Hakeem Mujahid, met separately with reporters to present the Taleban's point of view. /// HAKEEM MUJAHID ACT /// During the negotiations, they started their fighting against us. He (Mr.Masoud) is not sincere in this regard. Why? Because he is not in favor of peace, normalcy, national unity. Instead, he is working for greater Tajikstan with the combination of Tajikstan. /// END ACT /// U-N officials say they fear the fighting in Afghanistan will spread and become a regional conflict if a peaceful solution is not found soon. (Signed) NEB/NYC/LSF/gm 27-Aug-1999 18:25 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 2225 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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