The Interim Afghan Government headed by Hamid Kazai should have already be in office in Kabul by December 22, delegates at the UN Conference for an Afghanistan settlement in Bonn reached an agreement. According to Ahmed Fawzi, the UN special Afghan spokesman, a formal signing ceremony for the transitional government, which has lasted 8 days, is to take place on Wednesday. According to various sources, the interim government headed by Hamid Karzai will consist of 29 people, 23 ministers and 5 vice-premiers, and it will be in office for 6 months. After which a traditional All-Afghan Assembly; Loya Jirga, made up of elders and tribal representatives and national groups, will be held. The numbers at this assembly, representating all the Afghan regions, will be between 700-1000 delegates. The Loya Jirga will last approximately 2 weeks and will determine the structure of the new transitional government, which will be in office for a period of 18 months. In addition, it will also name the cabinet of the transitional government and constitutional council, which have the task of formulating a new constitution for the country. After 18 months the Loya Jirga should assemble once again to adopt the constitution and officially announce elections for a permanent acting government. It is proposed that the Loya Jirga appeal to the former Afghan king Mohammed Zahir Shah, currently living in Rome, to come forward. Afterwards it is not planned to allot him an official state post. The framework agreement contains an appeal to the UN for an international peacekeeping force to be deployed in Afghanistan to supervise the establishment of a police force and guarantee the population's safety. Precise details of which nations are to provide military personnel for this UN mission are not yet available sources in diplomatic circles at the conference stated. Western diplomats estimate that to reconstruct Afghanistan following 23 years of civil war will require between 5-10 billion dollars over 10 years.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land