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. Afghan President to visit US, Europe next week
KABUL (AFP) May 03, 2005
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is set to visit Europe and the United States next week where he will meet his key supporter US President George W. Bush, an official said Tuesday.

"The President will have important trips in May" to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France and NATO headquarters in Brussels before going onto Washington, presidential spokesman Jawed Ludin said.

Karzai will make a speech to NATO leaders and will then address the lower house of the Belgian parliament and meet the country's leadership, Ludin told a press briefing in Kabul.

The 8,300-strong International Security Assistance Force deployed in Afghanistan under a United Nations mandate came under full NATO command in

The next leg of his tour will take Karzai to Strasbourg where he will address the European Parliament, he said.

The Afghan president will then fly to the United States where he will hold talks with his Bush and members of Congress, Ludin added.

Boston and Nebraska University would confer honorary doctorate degrees on Karzai and he was scheduled to deliver talks at both institutes, he said.

The United States leads a coalition force of over 18,000 troops in Afghanistan, mostly battling Taliban militants in the restive south and east of the country since 2001.

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