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Chirac Asks U-N to Convene Afghan Aid Conference - 2001-11-07


French President Jacques Chirac has asked the United Nations to convene an international conference on ways to increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Speaking at U-N headquarters in New York Tuesday, Mr. Chirac said Secretary-General Kofi Annan had agreed to the request.

The French president said the focus of the conference would be to get aid to all the Afghan people who face what he called a situation of distress as winter approaches.

He said it is not just a question of money but rather of organization and energy to make aid available.

The United Nations has estimated as many as seven million Afghans face starvation or homelessness this winter.

Mr. Chirac also said France and Britain will sponsor a resolution in the U-N Security Council next week containing proposals for Afghanistan's post Taleban political future.

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Chirac held talks in Washington with President Bush. The French president said he would carefully study the possibility of sending additional special forces to Afghanistan, supplementing the two-thousand French troops already involved in U-S military operations there.

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