Spiritual Leader Pays
Working Visit to Tajikistan.

           Itar-Tass
           24-SEP-98

           DUSHANBE, September 24 (Itar-Tass) -- The spiritual leader of
           the world Ishmaelites, Prince Aga Khan IV, who is paying a week-
           long visit to Tajikistan at the invitation of President emomali
           Rakhmonov, on Thursday left for the Gorno-Badakhshan
           autonomous region where the most populous diaspora of
           Ishmaelites resides.

           The spiritual leader of the murids, the followers of the "living
           God," or crown prince Aga Khan IV, is accompanied on the
           Badakhshan journey, just as during his visit to Tajikistan in May
           1995, by President Emomali Rakhmonov.

           During his stay in Khorog, the administrative centre of the
           autonomous region, Aga Khan IV and the Tajik head of state will
           meet the region's leaders and public, and visit a number of
           educational establishments. they are also expected to hold informal
           meetings with the residents of the city and neighbouring villages.

           The visitors will also attend a festive opening ceremony at a school
           built with assistance from the Aga Khan fund.

           The republic as a whole and Badakhshan in particular value highly
           Aga Khan's appreciable humanitarian aid to the population of this
           highland area. His aid was of special importance during the armed
           confrontation in the country from 1992 and a number of
           subsequent years.

           During the current visit, further cooperation and Aga Khan's
           participation in a number of major humanitarian projects is being
           considered. The Prince has already held conversations with
           Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov, Prime Minister Yakhye
           Azimov and other leaders of the republic, as well as the chairman
           of the National Reconciliation commission, Tajik opposition leader
           Sayed Abdullo Nouri.

           vfp/
 
 

--
MZ


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