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India to host meeting on Afghanistan next month

New Delhi, Oct 25, IRNA-India will host next month a crucial conference of countries contributing to reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

Foreign ministers of 18 countries, including those of the US, UK, France, Pakistan and Iran, are expected to attend the two-day conference from November 18 that will be inaugurated by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, sources said here.

The invitees include foreign ministers of countries of the region besides those contributing to the economic reconstruction and development of the war-ravaged country.

Heads of 10 multilateral organizations like the UN, UNDP, World Bank, IMF, European Commission and ADB are also expected to attend the meet.

In this connection, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Monday held consultations with envoys of the invitee countries to discuss preparations for the conclave.

India attaches immense significance to the conference and expects foreign ministers of the invitee countries to attend it to lend it high profile.

The conference will primarily discuss efforts aimed at pushing development of Afghanistan. In this regard, steps to increase trade will be on the agenda.

Specific issues to be deliberated upon will be energy cooperation with Afghanistan involving laying of oil and gas pipelines, sources said.

... Payvand News - 10/25/06 ... --

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