Alaska's governor traveling to Afghanistan

Murkowski's staff members tight-lipped about travel plans

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A press information officer at the American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, confirmed Tuesday that Gov. Frank Murkowski will visit the country.

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Tara Rigler confirmed the planned trip in an e-mail message.

"I refer you to the governor's office for details of his visit," she said.

The governor's office Tuesday refused to comment on reports that Murkowski was visiting Alaska troops in the Middle East, Asia and possibly Europe.

Spokesman John Manly said Monday he could not disclose the governor's whereabouts, other than to say that Murkowski was not in Juneau.

Manly added that a statement will be released to the media today, discussing the "governor's activities during the past several days."

Anchorage television station KIMO reported Monday that Murkowski was in the midst of a surprise visit after leaving for Iraq either Friday or during the weekend. The station also reported Murkowski was to visit Afghanistan and possibly a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

The station reported Murkowski was invited on the trip by the Department of Defense, but the department would not comment to the station. A Department of Defense spokeswoman late Monday night told The Associated Press she had no information on the matter.

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