The leader of the U.S.-armed rebels in Angola said Friday his organization had reached tentative agreement with the Soviet-backed government of Angola to set a date for free elections and end the country's 15-year civil war.

The government of Angola and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) held their highest-level meeting Thursday, with the participation of officials from the Soviet Union, the United States and Portugal - the former colonial ruler of Angola."We believe that significant progress has been made, and that the prospects for a successful sixth round of negotiations in Lisbon early next year have been enhanced," said a communique issued by the participants at the end of the meeting.

UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi said his organization and the Angolan government, represented by the second-ranking official in the ruling party Lopo do Nascimento, had agreed on a five-point plan for ending the war.

Among the five points, he said, is agreement that signing of a cease-fire should be preceded by setting a date for free elections; a cease-fire should be guaranteed by international observers; and outside military assistance will stop once a cease-fire agreement is signed.