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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cricketing Hero Imran Khan Visits Chechnya

GROZNY -- Pakistani cricket legend and political hopeful Imran Khan wrapped up a visit to Chechnya with a delegation of British businessmen Tuesday to discuss investing in the war-shattered region.

Khan, who is married to the daughter of the late French-British tycoon Sir James Goldsmith, told reporters that his delegation hoped to promote the creation of a common market across the Caucasus.

The area would include the former-Soviet republics of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia's North Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya, and other parts of southern Russia, he said.

Under the plan, up to five investment banks would be set up around the Caucasus.

Khan was accompanied by Robin Derly, a financier, Francis Pike, director of Investor Holding, and Patrick Robertson, director of Robertson International.

They were under heavy protection from a Chechen brigade set up especially to counter a wave of hostage takings that has erupted since the Moslem republic defeated Russian forces sent to stamp out a unilateral declaration of independence.

Pike said that during their talks with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov they discussed raising money to rebuild Chechnya's war-damaged oil refinery and cement factory, as well as a railway south into Georgia.