Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani has arrived in Dubai. According to the Pakistani Dawn newspaper, Rabbani is expected to hold intensive negotiations with Pakistani representatives. Local observers believe that the sudden visit by the Afghan President to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is an important step in a rapprochement between Islamabad and the Taliban-opposed Northern Alliance. The fact is that Pakistan has not yet acknowledged Rabbani's government and opposes the Alliance's privileged position in the future Afghan administration. Islamabad believes that the Afghan government should be set up with respect to the demographic composition of the Afghan population. Pushtun tribes comprise approximately 55% of the population. Two days ago, an official spokesman for Rabbani stated that the intention of the Afghan government was to establish "friendly relations with Pakistan" and called on the sides to "forget the disagreements of the past." The Dawn reports that Abdul Qadyr, the re-appointed governor of the Afghan province of Nangarkhar, has already departed for Bonn to take part in the quadripartite inter-Afghan (with the exception of the Taliban movement) peace conference under the UN aegis, which will take place on Tuesday.
The United States has imposed new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which still remains under construction