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U-S Diplomat Meets Deposed Afghan King in Rome - 2001-09-26


Deposed Afghan King, Mohammad Zaher Shah, says he has appointed a three-man committee to help establish a council to represent the will of the Afghan people.

A statement issued by the King says the council will be called the High Afghan Council and will implement the King's suggestions for a solution to the Afghani problem.

The statement says the members of the committee are General Abdul Wali, Sultan Mahmoud Ghazi and Abdul Sattar Sirat.

The announcement comes after a senior U-S diplomat met with King Zaher Shah in Rome, Tuesday, to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.

A U-S State Department spokesman said the meeting between the deposed King and U-S charge d'affairs in Rome, William Pope, was part of regular U-S contacts with expatriate Afghan individuals and groups. He declined to elaborate.

The 86-year old Zaher Shah, deposed in a 1973 coup led by his cousin, recently said he is prepared to return to his country if he could be helpful in establishing peace.

Last week, the King appealed for an emergency meeting of representatives of all Afghan groups (Loya Jirga) to elect a head of state and set up a transitional government to end 20 years of bloody civil war.

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