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Hamid Karzai, Visits Tajikistan - 2002-01-24


Afghanistan's interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai, on a visit to neighboring Tajikistan, has called for close, friendly ties between the two countries.

Mr. Karzai is due to hold talks later today (Thursday) with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov in the capital, Dushanbe. They are expected to discuss broadening Tajik assistance in the transport of international aid and electricity supplies to the northern regions of war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Mr. Karzai is one of the few ethnic Pashtuns in his country's Tajik-dominated government.

Mr. Karzai flew to Dushanbe from a visit to China, where President Jiang Zemin pledged 150 million dollars in aid to help re-build Afghanistan.

Earlier (today) Thursday, the U-S commander of the military campaign in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks, also met with Tajik President Rakhmonov and thanked him for his support for the war on terrorism. General Franks praised the Tajik government for opening up its airspace for flights during the war effort.

Tajikistan has a 1,200-kilometer border with Afghanistan and has offered air bases to the U-S led anti-terrorism coalition.

General Franks is also scheduled to meet with interim Afghan Prime Minister Karzai in Dushanbe.

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