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Former Afghan King To Broadcast Message - 2001-11-14


Afghanistan's former king, Mohammed Zahir Shah, plans to broadcast a message to Afghans calling for unity and urging them to avoid vengeance.

The former king's statement, released in advance to the international media, says he will return to Afghanistan soon, not as its ruler, but as its servant.

The statement says creation of Afghanistan's new government should come through a "Loya Jirga," or traditional council of elders. He calls on Afghans to respect the council's decisions and to implement them.

87-year-old Mohammed Zahir Shah was deposed in a 1973 bloodless coup. He has resided in Rome since then. He met Tuesday with U-S special envoy James Dobbins about the creation of a post-Taleban Afghan government.

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