UN-mediated talks between Tajik president Imomali Rahmonov and United Tajik Opposition leader Saidabdullo Nuri began today in northern Afghanistan after a day’s delay. The UN-chartered plane bringing Nuri’s party from Mashhad (Iran) was forced down yesterday by the Taliban, and the UTO delegation was brought to the Taliban leadership’s Kandahar headquarters. Taliban spokesmen objected to the UN mission’s failure to prenotify Taliban authorities of the flight. (Western agencies, December 9-10)
Russian Parliament Gives Government Breathing Space on Budget.