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Afghan Former King Will Visit Provinces - 2002-06-01


Afghanistan's recently returned former king will visit other key Afghan cities this week prior to a grand national council meeting that will choose the country's new government.

News reports quote Mohammad Zaher Shah's secretary (Amid Saddiq) as saying the former monarch will visit the southern city of Kandahar, the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif and the western city of Herat.

The former king has kept a relatively low profile since his return to Kabul amid tight security in April, after three decades in exile in Italy. He will preside over the ceremonial opening of the upcoming grand council -- or loya jirga -- and said he is willing to become Afghanistan's new head of state, if nominated.

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