Decision has been practically finalized on setting up the Shura, Afghanistan's Provisional Government for the transitional period, UN Secretary General's special envoy for Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, told journalists. According to him, the Shura would comprise 120 people, representing Afghanistan's all ethnic groups and political parties, except the Taliban movement. On Monday, November 12, 2001, New York will host Foreign Ministers of the countries that have recently set up a "six plus two" union, including Afghanistan's neighbouring states plus Russia and the USA. The Ministers will discuss the UN-proposed structure of Afghanistan's Provisional Government, Vendrell said. Members of the "six plus two" union suggested that the UN should play the key role in forming Afghanistan's future coalition Government. Francesc Vendrell said he was certain that the countries entrusting the UN with the proposed initiative would fully support UN decisions on the issue and contribute to effective implementation of those. At the same time, Vendrell pointed out, "the UN should play the key role in rendering assistance to the people of Afghanistan rather than in establishment of the country's Government". Francesc Vendrell also confirmed the United Nations' conviction that the military phase of the current developments in Afghanistan should be brought to a close as soon as possible and that the USA should discontinue their bombardments throughout the holy month of Ramadan, sacred for all Muslims of the globe.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea