Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami is expected to visit Afghanistan next week before the Loya Jirga traditional assembly begins, said foreign affairs spokesman Omar Samad. "There is a plan for Mr. Khatami to come to Kabul in the next six or seven days, before the Loya Jirga," he expressed. The assembly, which will select a new transitional government, will be held between June 10-16.
"He will meet the Afghan leadership, and Hamid Karzai will be his main host, " said Samad, who added that the last Iranian leader to visit Afghanistan was the Shah of Iran, AFP reported.
Karzai, the head of the interim government, invited Khatami to visit Afghanistan when he went to Tehran in February.
The two men are scheduled to exchange viewpoints on, "Iran's role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, regional and security issues of concern to both sides, the evolution of the political process in Afghanistan and the Loya Jirga," Samad said.
Also on the agenda will be the issue of, "terrorism and how Iran can assist Afghanistan to combat terrorism and extremism."
Meanwhile, an Afghan diplomat in Tehran said earlier Sunday that Khatami would make a one-day visit to Kabul on June 9.
Iran, an ally of the Northern Alliance which backed by US-bombing raids, overthrew the hard-line Islamic Taliban government late last year, has pledged its support to Karzai, while being accused by the United States of working to destabilize it. (Albawaba.com)
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