Voter registration planned in Afghanistan for May

Thursday, February 19, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The top U.N. official in Afghanistan announced a new plan Wednesday to register voters for June presidential elections, a new effort to counter delays that jeopardize the voting timetable. Jean Arnault, the newly appointed U.N. special representative, said the world body planned to set up 4,200 stations across the country to register the bulk of the country's voters during May. Violence and lawlessness, particularly in remote areas of the south and east where Taliban-led insurgents are most active, has raised doubts over the schedule.

Pakistan and India agree on peace 'road map'

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan and India agreed Wednesday on an aggressively rapid plan for peace talks they hope will put a history of acrimony behind them, planning high-level meetings on contentious issues like Kashmir, terrorism and nuclear weapons. The dialogue will culminate with a summit in August between the two nations' foreign ministers -- a major breakthrough that would have been unimaginable two years ago, when the atomic adversaries stood on the brink of war. A series of midlevel meetings will begin directly after the Indian elections in April.

U.S. envoys arrive to hear about 'disengagement'

JERUSALEM -- Three senior American diplomats met with Israeli officials Wednesday to learn more about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal to withdraw unilaterally from most of the Gaza Strip and perhaps parts of the West Bank. The team, the highest-ranking U.S. delegation to visit the region in eight months, hopes to learn to what extent the Israeli idea of imposing a boundary on the Palestinians would violate the stalled U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.

-- From wire reports

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