Pakistan, Afghan leaders vow joint terrorism fight
All security problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan will be resolved with dialogue, Turkish President Gül (C) says along with his counterparts. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZAfghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, voiced joint determination in Ankara yesterday to fight extremism and terrorism despite acknowledging their ongoing bilateral problems.
“The existing confidence has been refreshed. We believe that all security problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan will be resolved within the framework of this dialogue,” Abdullah Gül said at a press conference with the pair, who were in town as part of a two-day trilateral summit between Kabul, Islamabad and Ankara.
“An exchange of views has been carried out not only at the level of bilateral cooperation but also at the level of regional cooperation and in regards to cooperation with Turkey,” Karzai said. “Thanks to efforts by Turkey, we have made important progress,” he added.
“Hopefully the fight against extremism and terrorism will take itself to a conclusion where the populations of the two countries are not threatened by these attacks,” he said, calling for strengthening dialogue between the three countries.
Zardari, for his part, said Afghanistan and his country had differences of views in regards to certain problems but also underlined Turkey’s assistance in dealing with these problems.
“Pakistan’s struggle against extremism will be successful. Extremists’ mentality will lose,” Zardari said, adding that many difficulties had occurred since the latest trilateral meeting, including the assassination attempt on Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief, Asadullah Khalid, on Dec. 6.
Both Karzai and Zardari used very careful language regarding the assassination attempt despite reporters’ curiosity on the subject.
Earlier, Karzai did not openly blame Pakistan for the attack but said “bigger hands were involved” and that the Taliban alone would not have been able to carry out the bombing. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry rejected the claim and said it was ready to help investigate what it called a criminal act.
“We had very good conversations. We will not go into details,” Karzai said when asked about his earlier comments mentioning “bigger hands.”
Zardari also responded to the same question, saying terrorism had no borders. “[Terrorists] are not people of any state. They are stateless actors. ... No matter how dangerous or how difficult they might be, we have to prove to the world we will not be stopped by any force.”
During the press conference, ministers from the three countries signed a memorandum of understanding for economic and commercial cooperation. In a joint statement adopted at the conclusion of the summit, the leaders noted the need to further develop the transport connections among the three countries as a basis for increased economic cooperation and reiterated the crucial importance of regional cooperation for addressing regional challenges.
Joint Statement Adopted at the Conclusion of the Seventh Trilateral Summit of the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey (Full statement)
(Ankara, 11-12 December 2012)
His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and His Excellency Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey held their seventh Trilateral Summit Meeting in Ankara on 11 and 12 December 2012.
The three Presidents also held cordial exchange of views together with His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey.
At their Trilateral Summit Meeting, the Presidents,
Underscoring the valuable contribution that the Trilateral Summit Process has made to the dialogue and cooperation among the three countries through its six Summit Meetings since 2007 and the joint work carried out based on the decisions thereof,
Aware of the crucial importance of connectivity among the three brotherly countries, at the level of their people, institutions, infrastructures and economies,
Noting the need for further developing the transport connectivity among the three countries as a basis for increased economic cooperation,
Reiterating the crucial importance of regional cooperation for addressing regional challenges,
Mindful of the importance of the efforts of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan in bringing peace to Afghanistan and thus also contributing to regional stability; also welcoming the recent visit of its Chairman Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani to Pakistan and taking note of important initiatives taken by Pakistan in support of the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan,
Recognizing the common challenge posed by terrorism, extremism and narcotics trafficking as a major threat to regional peace, security and stability, and in this context, especially, denouncing strongly the recent terrorist attacks on Asadullah Khalid, Director of National Security of Afghanistan; and on Malala Yusufzai, an icon of girls’ education in Pakistan, and wishing them both a speedy recovery,
Welcoming the progress achieved in the Istanbul Process for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan and reiterating their strong commitment to the Process as a regional political dialogue platform and the development of confidence building measures within its framework, and looking forward to the success of the Baku and Astana meetings next year,
Reaffirming their commitment to the decisions of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-V) held in Dushanbe on 27 March 2012,
Welcoming the Regional Conference on Countering Narcotics held in Islamabad on 12 November 2012 as an important regional initiative to address this significant challenge,
Recognizing the value of the efforts of regional organizations and initiatives, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization which held its 12th Summit in Baku on 16 October 2012,
Noting the commitment made by the international community to the future of Afghanistan in the Bonn, Chicago and Tokyo Conferences held since the sixth Trilateral Summit Meeting,
Decided the following:
1. In its sixth year, the Trilateral Ankara Summit Process has proven its worth as a platform for high level dialogue, security cooperation and economic development partnership,
2. Noted the results of the Trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting with the participation of the Chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan and high level officials of relevant agencies, where the latest efforts of the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan was discussed extensively,
3. Based on the comprehensive exchanges of views among the relevant Ministers and high ranking officials, including the Chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan, reiterated their determination to intensify the cooperation among the three countries in Afghan-led and Afghan owned peace and reconciliation efforts and address the security challenges affecting the region, in this regard a joint working group comprising relevant agencies of Afghanistan and Pakistan will address the recent attack on the National Security Director of Afghanistan,
4. Expressed their resolve to foster connectivity among the institutions of the three brotherly countries, the hotline communication system being recently established among the presidential offices setting a concrete example in this regard,
5. Further emphasized the need to use the full potential of the three countries in order to achieve the development objectives for the prosperity of their peoples, recognizing the need to improve the transport connectivity among the three partner countries,
6. In this regard, welcomed the results of the Trilateral Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Transport, whereby the intermodal goods transport capacity among the parties will be enhanced, utilizing the full potential of existing regional transport infrastructure and legal framework, in particular with close cooperation among authorities responsible for railways,
7. Welcomed the results of the Trilateral Interior Ministers’ Meeting, which identified the need to improve cooperation in border management in order to address all cross-border challenges, including terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking,
8. Regarding the already existing trilateral military cooperation which was discussed among the Highest Level Military Officials prior to the Summit, emphasized that the ongoing joint military training programmes and exercises which provide invaluable opportunities to share experience and foster connectivity among the armed forces of the three countries as well as improving their interoperability, should be continued and expanded, the Joint Special Forces and Natural Disaster Search and Rescue Exercise, conducted among the armed forces of the three countries between 5-9 November 2012 in Ankara, was highly commended in this regard,
9. Expressed their conviction that the Trilateral Trade Council being established today will allow the three countries to connect their economic and trade institutions closer in order to realize the full potential in the economic and trade partnership among Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey,
10. Reiterated their support for the Istanbul Forum mechanism, comprising the apex organizations of the private sectors of the three countries, welcomed the work of the Forum for strengthening logistics connectivity among the three countries and further to Eurasia, and appreciated their efforts to foster connectivity among entrepreneurs,
11. Tasked senior officials to review and expand the list of concrete cooperation projects based on the Ankara Summit Process decisions and follow-up their implementation.
His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan conveyed their thanks to His Excellency Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey and to the Government and brotherly people of Turkey for hosting the seventh Trilateral Summit .