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Intense International Diplomatic Efforts Underway to Form Afghan Government - 2001-11-21


British Foreign Secretary is traveling to Iran and Pakistan amid intense international efforts to form a broad-based government in Afghanistan.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says he is leaving London later today (Wednesday) for Tehran and Islamabad to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Earlier, the United Nations announced that four Afghan groups have agreed to take part in a conference next week in an effort to forge a transitional administration for the war-torn country.

Afghan opposition groups, including the Northern Alliance, and representatives of former king Mohammad Zahir Shah and Afghan elders are expected to meet in Berlin Monday.

The U-N envoy for Afghanistan - Lakhdar Brahimi - says that, because of fast-moving events on the ground, he is proposing that the Afghan conference set up a small body to take over the running of Kabul immediately.

He said it would be an interim measure before a larger, more representative body, is organized.

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