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All Eyes on Bonn

The first representatives of Afghanistan's factions have arrived in Germany to discuss their country's political future.

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Will a new Afghan regime be born at Hotel Petersberg?

The diplomatic focus of the Afghanistan conflict shifts to the small town of Königswinter near Bonn on Tuesday. Afghan officials are meeting in the heavily-guarded fortress Petersberg for talks on building a broad-based post-Taliban government.

Diplomatic efforts to map out a political future have been overshadowed by military progress against the Taliban. The Bonn talks are seen as the raw beginnings of a new regime.

Burhanuddin Rabbani, head of the Northern Alliance that now controls most of the country, played down hopes the conference could quickly produce a new interim administration. "This meeting is not a summit council," he said during a surprise visit to the United Arab Emirates.

"The main councils and meetings will take place inside Afghanistan and senior officials must participate to take the main decisions," he added. The Taliban ousted Rabbani as president in 1996. But his government retains UN recognition.

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