Rome Group Representative In Line To Lead Provisional Afghan Cabinet

Abdul Sattar Sirat, a representative of the so-called Rome group (loyal to the deposed monarch), could head a transitional Afghan cabinet. It appears that a candidate for the premiership could soon be agreed upon by the two leading factions out of the four participating in the UN talks in Bonn to settle the Afghan situation. The largest groups of the United Anti-Taliban Front are the Northern Alliance and the Rome group; the latter is made up of supporters of the 87 year-old ex-king Zahir Shah, including Abdul Sattar Sitar. A Northern Alliance delegation member has reported that agreement is a possibility. It has been suggested in the conference hall's lobbies that Sirat could lead the provisional government, thereby edging out Hamid Karzai, an authoritative Pashtun from southern Afghanistan, who enjoys American support. However, all this is unofficial information, and UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi has not yet disclosed any confirmed details. He had earlier announced that the four delegations had already submitted their proposals for the new government and that the hard work lay in agreement being reached. Commentators believe that the conference will not finish on Monday and that the talks will continue into Tuesday.