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Afghanistan Seeks To Rebuild Parliament

11 April 2005 -- Afghanistan's economy minister said today he wanted Afghans to contribute funds to rebuild the Darul-Aman palace so the building could serve as the new parliament building.

Minister Amin Farhang said the plan to rebuild the palace would create up to 10,000 jobs. But Farhang said private donors would have to help with the $60 to 70 million in estimated costs to restore the palace.

Farhang appealed to wealthy local businessmen and Afghan exiles to pledge what they could to help the project. Farhang said "even a dollar or two to help this important cause."

The Darul-Aman palace was built by King Amanullah Khan in 1924 but it was heavily bombed during factional fighting in the Kabul area in the early 1990s.

A German architect has already drawn up plans for the palace's restoration.