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Daschle heads delegation to Central Asia

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is heading a six-member Congressional delegation leaving Thursday on a nine-day trip to several countries in Central Asia.

According to Daschle's office, the delegation hopes to visit Afghanistan during the trip. Other countries on their agenda include Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The six lawmakers plan to meet with government officials and other prominent leaders in each country they visit to discuss the war on terrorism, human rights, democratization and economic development. In addition, they will visit humanitarian aid sites and assess the need for additional economic and humanitarian aid.

Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, will be joined by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, Sen. Bob Smith, R-New Hampshire, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minnesota, and Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-California.

On Monday, a different delegation of nine U.S. senators met in Afghanistan with interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai during a tour of nine nations in the region.




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