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U-S, Iran Urged to Join in Helping Afghanistan Recover - 2002-02-24


Afghanistan's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, has begun a three-day visit to Iran by calling on Iran and the United States to put aside their differences and cooperate in the reconstruction of his country.

Mr. Karzai says Iran has had and will continue to have an important role in reshaping Afghanistan. He spoke with reporters after meeting with Iran's President Mohammad Khatami.

Iran gave the visiting Afghan leader a red carpet welcome Sunday when he arrived in Tehran Sunday at the head of a large political and economic delegation for his first official visit to Iran since taking office after the ouster of the former Taleban regime.

The visit comes amid renewed U.S. accusations against Iran. U-S Special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad said the United States is still concerned about possible attempts by Iran to create unrest in Afghanistan. Tehran has denied the charges.

Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Abdullah told reporters Afghanistan welcomes Iran's contribution to reconstruction of the country. Iran has pledged over 500 million dollars for reconstruction efforts.

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