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High Commissioner in South Asia

Briefing notes

High Commissioner in South Asia

13 April 2004

High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers arrived in Tehran late last night at the start of a nine-day mission to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Iran, the High Commissioner will have two full days of talks with senior members of the government, including the Ministers of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Labour and Social Affairs. He will also meet with donors, and UNHCR's partners in the ongoing repatriation operations to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The High Commissioner will leave Iran on Thursday, 15 April, and proceed to Kandahar in Afghanistan, where he will meet the local authorities and visit a camp for internally displaced Afghans. On Friday, he will go to the Afghan capital Kabul, where he is due to hold discussions with President Karzai and the Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Refugees and Repatriation, and Rural Reconstruction and Development.

On Sunday, the High Commissioner will leave for Pakistan, where he is also scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister and senior ministers. The mission will end on Tuesday.

In all three countries, the High Commissioner will be focusing on the voluntary repatriation and reintegration of Afghan refugees as well as the longer term future of Afghans in the entire region.