Tajikistan’s president, Imomali Rahmonov, and United Opposition chairman Saidabdullo Nuri are scheduled to meet today under Russian mediation in Moscow, in order to extend the ceasefire signed December 11 and to sign a political agreement on the principles of settling the conflict in Tajikistan. Amid conflicting reports on whether the meeting will actually be held on schedule, the only certainty seems to be that the opposition leadership has prevailed upon Nuri to revoke some of the unilateral concessions he had been pressured to make at the December 10-11 meeting under UN and Russian mediation. Opposition first vice-chairman Akbar Turajonzoda, the most sophisticated and worldly of the opposition leaders, has criticized the draft documents initialed at the December 10-11 Rahmonov-Nuri meeting, and demanded changes as a precondition to the opposition’s acceptance of the Moscow "summit" and its results. Turanjozoda stated yesterday, without elaborating, that the opposition leadership has indeed introduced changes in the draft documents prepared for Moscow. (Interfax, Western agencies, December 18)
The information that has been disseminated about those documents makes it possible to identify the main areas of disagreement. They are: the requirement that opposition forces withdraw from some recently captured areas; the intended creation of a purely decorative national conciliation commission, instead of real power-sharing arrangements; the idea of mandating observance of the ceasefire for the entire period of negotiations, thus lifting the pressure on Dushanbe to negotiate seriously; and the refusal by Dushanbe and Moscow to include the National Revival bloc (which broke away from the regime and moved closer to the opposition’s views) as a third party in the Moscow negotiations. The fate of the Tajik summit in Moscow will turn mainly on those issues.
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