Western AfPak envoys to meet in Paris

29th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Paris has called a meeting of the Western powers most senior officials charged with dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for Wednesday next week, the French foreign ministry said.

Paris - Paris has called a meeting of the Western powers most senior officials charged with dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for Wednesday next week, the French foreign ministry said.

According to a senior French official, speaking on condition of anonymity, the so-called AfPak envoys from Britain, France, Germany and the United States will discuss their response to Afghanistan's presidential elections.

Judging by the slim partial results so far released since last week's poll, incumbent president Hamid Karzai is on course for victory in a poll which his main opponent Abdullah Abdullah says was marred by widespread fraud.

According to the French official, US envoy Richard Holbrooke would like to see the vote go to a second round run-off in order to chasten Karzai and show him that his power is limited and contignent on genuine popular support.

The European envoys would not mind seeing Karzai win outright in the first round, if only in the interests of preserving a measure of political stability, so long as the fraud was not seen to be too flagrant or one-sided.

Holbrooke will meet French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, before joining France's Thierry Mariani, Britain's Sherard Cowper-Coles and Germany's Bernd Muetzelurg for talks and a working dinner, the French ministry said.

AFP / Expatica

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