Head Of Afghan Provisional Government Meets Ex-Afghan King In Rome

A meeting between ex-Afghan King Zahir Shah and the head of the country's provisional government Hamid Karzai rounded off in Rome late in the evening of December 18. The former king is "welcome to return to Afghanistan any minute," announced Karzai after the meeting, adding that Zahir Shah did not intend to play any official role in Afghanistan and yet his return to the country as its citizen was of great importance. On his part, Zahir Shah reported having given "lots of advice" to the new prime minister. The ex-monarch is expected to set up a so called Loya Jirgah, a traditional Pashtun tribal institute that unites elders, tribal chiefs and authoritative representatives of the Afghan people, which will be convened 6 months after Hamid Karzai's December 22 official assumption of office.

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