The Security Council this afternoon called upon the Government and opposition parties in Tajikistan to accelerate substantially their efforts to reach a general peace agreement.
In a statement read out on behalf of the Council by its President Legwaila Joseph Legwaila (Botswana), the Council members urged the parties to negotiate constructively and in good faith. It urged them to solve, through mutual concessions and compromise, the fundamental political and institutional issues in order to reach an overall agreement based on their 17 August 1995 Protocol on the principles for establishing peace and national accord in Tajikistan.
Expressing concern over the violations of the Tehran cease-fire agreement of 17 September 1994 and its limited extension, the Council gave its full support to the Secretary-General's appeal to the Tajik opposition, which was contained in his progress report, to agree to the extension of the cease-fire agreement for the duration of the continual round of inter-Tajik talks.
The Council welcomed the strong expression of support by the special session of the Tajik Parliament for efforts to achieve national reconciliation and the search for compromise at the inter-Tajik talks held under the auspices of the United Nations. It regretted the decision of the leaders of the Islamic Revival Movement of Tajikistan (IRMT) not to participate in the session and reiterated the importance of direct political dialogue between the President of Tajikistan and the leader of the IRMT.
Reminding the Tajik parties that the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) was subject to the continuation of the cease- fire and national reconciliation, the Council expressed deep concern over recent incidents in which UNMOT personnel were harassed and threatened and called on all parties to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of United Nations and other international personnel.
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The Council commended the efforts of the outgoing Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Ramiro Piriz-Ballon, and expressed the hope that the new Envoy would be appointed promptly and begin without delay the preparation of the next phase of talks.
The text of the statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1996/14, reads as follows:
Text of Presidential Statement
"The Security Council has considered the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan of 22 March 1996 (document S/1996/212).
"The Security Council regrets that insufficient progress has been achieved during the continual round of the inter-Tajik talks in Ashgabad towards the solution of fundamental political and institutional issues. It calls upon the Tajik parties to accelerate substantially their efforts to reach agreement on the basis of the Protocol on the fundamental principles for establishing peace and national accord in Tajikistan of 17 August 1995 (S/1995/720, annex). It urges them to negotiate constructively and in good faith and to search for solutions on the basis of mutual concessions and compromises.
"The Security Council is deeply concerned about the violations of the Tehran cease-fire agreement of 17 September 1994 (S/1994/1102, annex I), and in particular about the ongoing fighting in the Tavildara region. It appeals to the Tajik parties to comply strictly with all their obligations undertaken under this agreement. It reminds them that the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) is subject to the proviso that the Tehran cease- fire agreement remains in force and the parties continue to be committed to an effective cease-fire, to national reconciliation and to the promotion of democracy. The Council notes with concern that the ongoing military operations and other violations of the cease-fire create doubt regarding the parties' commitment to an effective cease-fire.
"The Security Council acknowledges the extension of the cease-fire by the parties for a further three months until 26 May 1996. It is concerned, however, that the cease-fire has only been extended for this short period. The Council fully supports the appeal by the Secretary-General to the Tajik opposition contained in his report (S/1996/212) to agree to the extension of the cease-fire agreement for the duration of the inter-Tajik talks.
"The Security Council reiterates the importance of direct political dialogue between the President of the Republic of Tajikistan the leader of the Islamic Revival Movement of Tajikistan (IRMT) for the peace process and encourages them to hold the next meeting as soon as possible.
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"The Security Council welcomes the position of the Majlisi Oli (Parliament) of Tajikistan which at its special session on 11-12 March 1996 expressed its strong support for the efforts to achieve national reconciliation and for the search for compromise at the inter-Tajik talks held under the auspices of the United Nations. It regrets that the leaders of the IRMT declined to participate in the special session of the Majlisi Oli.
"The Security Council expresses its deep concern over the kidnapping on 24 February 1996 of the opposition co-chair of the Joint Commission and calls on the Tajik Government to intensify its investigation into this incident. The Council joins the Secretary-General in calling on the Government to provide the necessary security guarantees to allow the Joint Commission to function safely and effectively.
"The Security Council expresses its hope that the Agreement on social accord in Tajikistan signed on 9 March 1996 in Dushanbe by the leaders of Tajikistan and of political parties, social movements and ethnic communities (S/1996/187, annex) will contribute to national reconciliation.
"The Security Council expresses its strong concern at the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Tajikistan. It calls upon Member States and others concerned to respond promptly in support of the humanitarian relief efforts of the United Nations and other international organizations.
"The Security Council welcomes the positive role played by UNMOT under difficult circumstances. The Council expresses deep concern over recent incidents in which UNMOT personnel were harassed and threatened and reiterates its call to the parties to cooperate fully with UNMOT and to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations and other international organizations,
"The Security Council is concerned about delays in the establishment of a liaison post of UNMOT at Taloqan (northern Afghanistan) and encourages the relevant Afghan authorities to facilitate its opening.
"The Security Council welcomes the creation for the office of an independent ombudsman for human rights in Tajikistan with the help of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and expresses the hope that his activities will contribute to a lessening of tensions.
"The Security Council commends the tireless efforts of the Secretary- General's former Special Envoy in Tajikistan Mr. Piriz-Ballon. It understands that his successor will be appointed promptly and expresses the hope that the new Special Envoy will begin without delay and the preparation of the next phase of the continual round of the inter-Tajik talks which should be convened as soon as possible."
The meeting, which was called to order at 12:18 p.m., was adjourned at 12:28 p.m.
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