UNITED NATIONS, DEC. 31, REUTER — Secretary General Javier Perez De Cuellar expressed concern on Saturday over the slow pace of movement towards a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan and urged an intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at setting up a broad-based government.

In a statement issued through a spokesman, he expressed concern at the continuous suffering and plight of Afghans both inside and outside the country, with millions displaced and refugees.

“While welcoming the recent positive steps toward a promotion of a peaceful settlement, the secretary general expresses also his concern at the slow pace of the developments in that direction,” the statement said.

“Accordingly he appeals to all Afghans to spare no efforts and take the necessary steps towards an intra-Afghan dialogue for the establishment of a broad-based government and the creation of the necessary conditions of peace and normalcy that would enable the Afghan refugees to return voluntarily to their homeland in safety and honor.”

Perez de Cuellar said he hoped 1989 would see the end of the “long and tragic war in that country and that it will be a year of peace, reconstruction and rehabilitation.”

Soviet backed Afghan President Najibullah on Friday declared a unilateral ceasefire in the 10yearold war against Moslem guerrillas starting on January 1. But this was not referred to in the secretary general’s statement.

The ceasefire call has been rejected by Pakistan based rebels, who have vowed to fight on.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 6, 1989