Afghanistan Stretching the Deadline

A slowdown, but not a breakdown, in Geneva negotiations

"This week you should do your sightseeing," suggested United Nations Mediator Diego Cordovez to journalists gathered in Geneva last week. That advice was the first sign that the pace had slowed in what was to be the final round of talks aimed at settling Afghanistan's eight-year-old civil war. Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev had set March 15 as the target date for concluding the negotiations, promising that if it was met, Moscow would begin withdrawing its 115,000-member army of occupation from Afghanistan by May 15. Yet last week key negotiators, including Pakistani Minister of State Zain Noorani, whose government represents the mujahedin...

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