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    Zakhilwal to hold high-powered talks in US

    KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan Finance Minister Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal will hold high-level talks with his foreign counterparts in Washington to lay the groundwork for the forthcoming Chicago Summit and the Tokyo Conference.

    He will be leading a delegation to Washington to attend the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Meeting meetings.

    “The focus of his discussion is the preparation for Chicago NATO Summit in which funding for the long term financing of the Afghan National Security Forces will be announced.

    “And also the Tokyo conference in July this year, where the international community will pledge a long term support for development activities in Afghanistan beyond 2014, will be agreed and announced,” said a Finance Ministry statement.

    The summit in Chicago would be held on May 20.

    Dr. Zakhilwal, who will be heading the delegation to Washington, is responsible for the Tokyo conference preparations.

    On the sidelines of the meeting, he would meet World Bank President Bob Zellic, Deputy Managing Director of IMF Nemat Shafik, Pakistan Finance Minister Hafiz Shaikh, Iran Finance Minister Dr. Hussaini and British International Development Minister Andrew Mitchel.

    The minister would also hold talks with USAID Director Dr Rajiv Shah, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Treasury Mr. Neal Wolin, head of Australia Aid and other US officials.

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