Afghanistan

Annan's envoy to attend Afghan peace talks in Jeddah

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An envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be an observer at Afghanistan peace talks scheduled to open Tuesday in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, a spokesman for Mr. Annan said today.
The spokesman said that the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, would attend the talks between representatives of Afghanistan's warring factions that are being hosted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). OIC is currently chaired by Iran.

The UN spokesman said that Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Mr. Vendrell would meet with delegations from the Taliban and the Northern Alliance separately. He added that there were currently no plans for face-to-face talks between the parties.

The talks are expected to last no more than three days, according to the spokesman.