Former Afghan king's envoys visit Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Nov 15, 2000
A delegation of the former Afghan king, Mohammad Zaher, has arrived in the region. The delegation had visited Uzbekistan and had talks with the country's authorities and on Tuesday [14th November] arrived in Tajikistan for talks with Tajik officials on the Afghan problem.
Our correspondent, Rahmatkarim Davlat, interviewed the head of the delegation, [director of the king's Rome office] Dr Zalmai Rassoul. He said the following on the aims of his visit:
[Raasoul] At the decision of the decision-making council of the Loya Jerga [Grand Assembly] movement, we paid a series of visits to Central Asian and other neighbouring countries to discuss issues relating to convening an extraordinary Loya Jerga in the past and now we have started a new round of visits to these countries.
First, we visited Uzbekistan and now we have arrived in Tajikistan. Our visit to Uzbekistan was a very positive and successful one. We will go to Afghanistan soon to meet senior officials of the United Islamic Front [for the Salvation of Afghanistan]. Then we will come back to Tajikistan and, God willing, after meeting relevant Tajik officials, we will leave for Rome.
[Q] Could you, please, tell about the meetings you had in Tashkent and their results?
[A] We had a meeting with Uzbek Foreign Minister [Abdulaziz Komilov] and told him about the purpose of the Joya Jirga. We said that a durable and just peace will come to Afghanistan only when the idea enjoys support of the majority of the Afghan people. They [Uzbek officials] had a positive view on the subject and the talks were also positive.
[Q] Are you going to meet Taleban officials as well?
[A] In August we visited Kandahar [southern Afghanistan] and had talks with the Taleban. Now we want to meet UIFSA officials to explain them why an extraordinary Loya Jirga should be convened and to ask them for cooperation.
[Q] The UIFSA has accepted your proposal to convene a Loya Jirga, at the same time they say that they cannot agree with certain points of the proposal. What do you think about this?
[A] We have not yet had official meetings with UIFSA officials and now we want to meet them and explain the goal of the Loya Jerga [two words indistinct]. We are proposing to call an extraordinary Loya Jirga because it will give the majority of the Afghan people time to decide their destiny.
Source: Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mashhad, in Persian 0130 gmt 15 Nov ----
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