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Saturday, 15 December, 2001, 13:39 GMT
Limits urged on Kabul force
Kabul street
Kabul will be the focus of the peacekeeping operation
The foreign minister in Afghanistan's new interim government says that he accepts the need for a multi-national peacekeeping contingent - but with restrictions on its ability to use force.

Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah: Views may be at odds with UK
In a letter sent to the UN Security Council, Dr Abdullah Abdullah says the interim government wants the force deployed on the basis of Chapter Six of the UN Charter, which does not explicitly allow the use of force.

Several Security Council members, in particular the UK, are thought to want the deployment to be covered by Chapter Seven, which allows the use of force to deal with threats to peace and acts of aggression.

The UN is still discussing the mechanics of setting up the force and a resolution authorising its deployment is not expected until Britain has confirmed it will lead the force.

Force 'will go ahead'

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN special envoy on Afghanistan, played down the potential for problems over the issue.

UN soldiers
UN force was agreed under Bonn deal
He told journalists after a closed-door briefing to the council on Friday that the deployment of the force would happen.

"We are confident this will not disrupt the process," he said.

The force is being set up under the terms of the Bonn agreement between Afghan factions which created a new post-Taleban political set-up for the country.

The peacekeepers will initially be deployed in the capital, Kabul.

The UK Government has indicated that it is prepared to lead the force, but will not make an official announcement until after a British military team returns from a reconnaissance mission to Kabul.

A number of European countries as well as Turkey and Jordan have offered to contribute to the force.

See also:

14 Dec 01 | UK
UK talks on Afghan troops
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