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Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Kazakhstan ready to host Afghan talks

President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has offered to host talks on trying to end the conflict in Afghanistan.

The United Nations special envoy on Afghanistan, now in Kazakhstan, told reporters that the Kazakh leader was well versed in the complexities of the Afghan conflict, and was ready to organise a meeting of all interested parties to try to achieve a peaceful solution.

Kazakhstan does not border Afghanistan, but shares frontiers with three other former Soviet central Asian states which do -- Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikstan. Only three countries recognise the Taleban administration in Kabul -- Saudi ARabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

However, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan recently held talks with the Taleban through their embassies in Islamabad.

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