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Karzai leaves for Europe to attend WEF meet

The Afghan President has left for the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, ahead of a key conference in London.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 19:00 IST

Afghan President Hamid Karzai travelled to Europe on Wednesday to attend the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos and visit Denmark, ahead of a key conference in London on his country's future.

Karzai's first stop would be in Switzerland where he was to participate in the forum meeting and a conference on Islamic nations in the modern world, presidential spokesman Siamak Hirawi told the agency.

The president was expected to also hold meetings there with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip, he said.

After a four-day visit to Switzerland, Karzai and his delegation will travel to Denmark, which is preparing to more than double its troops stationed in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led force to around 360.

The president, accompanied on his trip by Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and various advisors, was expected to meet Queen Margrethe II and Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Hirawi said.

On January 29 he will travel to London for a conference of about 70 countries that have been helping Afghanistan to rebuild after three decades of war and to try to quell a deadly insurgency.

War-ravaged and destitute Afghanistan will present a five-year development plan called the Afghanistan Compact to its international partners at the January 31-February 1 meeting.

The conference will be attended by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

First Published: Jan 25, 2006 15:10 IST