Allies of Afghanistan meet to tackle problem
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3L) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai (C) poses as other international representatives take part in the group photo in the summit. AFP photo
Afghanistan’s neighbors and regional countries met in Kabul yesterday to tackle common threats and problems and discuss the country’s future after NATO troops leave in 2014.
Representatives from 29 countries, including Turkey, gathered in Kabul for the day-long conference, just weeks after NATO agreed at a summit in Chicago to stick to plans to withdraw the bulk of 130,000 foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The conference also followed a meeting in Istanbul in November that aimed to help map out the future of the war-torn country.
In opening of the conference, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the head of the government-appointed peace council would soon travel to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in order to seek the two nations continued support in talking peace with the Taliban, in the hope of ending decades of war. Karzai said that successful peace discussions with the Taliban were one of the most important elements in attaining harmony in the region.
“We also very much hope that our brothers and sisters in Pakistan will do the same,” Karzai said. For her part, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan stood ready to assist with the peace process, but that Afghanistan’s various factions needed to reach a consensus about a political resolution to the war. Only then, can it be supported by Afghanistan’s neighbors, she said. Pakistan has been accused of providing sanctuary on its soil for militants and aiding insurgents who attack Afghan and foreign forces in Afghanistan. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the problems could only be overcome through regional ownership and cooperation, underlining the need of developing regional cooperation.