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Afghanistan: UN Security Council Visits Troubled Northern City

Kabul, 5 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A UN Security Council delegation yesterday had meetings with leading political and diplomatic figures in the Afghan capital Kabul. A United Nations official said delegates had a dozen meetings with top Afghan officials and foreign diplomats in Kabul. The delegates are on a four-day visit to Afghanistan.

The meetings covered economic development, relations between Afghanistan and its neighbors Pakistan and Iran, the fight against drugs, and efforts to improve security.

Delegates met with the Afghan finance, interior, and defense ministers, the Pakistani and Iranian ambassadors, and top U.S. military officials besides officials from UN agencies.

Today, the delegation traveled to Mazar-e-Sharif, a city in northern Afghanistan troubled by factional fighting. The UN ambassadors are to meet with rival commanders Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammed. The warlords cooperated with the U.S.-led coalition to force the Taliban from power in 2001, but are engaged in a struggle for power in the north.

Also yesterday, two rockets reportedly hit the airport in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. A local security official told the AP news agency that no one was wounded and no damage was caused in the attack. The official gave no other details, but blamed Taliban insurgents for the attack.