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Karzai Expected to Announce Cabinet - 2002-06-19


Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will announce his cabinet today (Wednesday), but there is still debate about whether the Loya Jirga grand council must approve his selections.

Mr. Karzai had been expected to make the announcement Tuesday. But he said he needed more time to ensure a representative administration of professional and capable ministers.

Mr. Karzai's advisors say his cabinet does not need Loya Jirga approval. But U-S Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad says that under last year's Bonn accord, the assembly must have the final say on the key cabinet posts.

On Tuesday, two rockets exploded in central Kabul near the heavily fortified U-S Embassy and the Loya Jirga grand assembly.

Officials say the blasts caused no casualties and only a small amount of damage. The explosions were also near the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force which is investigating the incident.

International peacekeepers had warned of violence during the Loya Jirga meeting.

Mr. Karzai was elected president last week to rule Afghanistan for 18 months and organize general elections.

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