Turkey hosts Afghan and Pakistani leaders in trilateral summit
(From L to R) Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif pose for a family picture during the Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Summit at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Feb 13. REUTERS photoTurkey hosted the eighth Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Summit around the theme of “Sustainable Peace in the Heart of Asia,” while aiming to strengthen multidimensional cooperation among the three countries in the fields as politics, security and economic development.
The gathering took place against the backdrop of political transition in Afghanistan, including presidential and provincial council elections in April and the withdrawal of NATO forces by the end of the year.
President Abdullah Gül met Afghan President Hamid Karzai, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, Feb. 13. After the separate morning meetings, Gül, Karzai, Sharif and Erdoğan held a quadruple meeting.
The leaders talked about issues in an open way before security officials joined the talks for a larger discussion, Gül said at a joint press conference.
The parties will take some concrete steps on transportation projects, Gül added. Noting that 2014 would be a year for transition in Afghanistan, Karzai said the hot topic of the talks was security and building peace.
“My country is determined to keep up good neighborly relations with Afghanistan. Once more I want to underline our sincere support to peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan,” Sharif said.
Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Interior Minister Efkan Ala and the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Hakan Fidan, attended a banquet along with ministers and high-level officials from the Afghan and Pakistani delegations.
On the sidelines of the summit, foreign ministers, military officials and business leaders from the three countries met in separate sessions.
Afghan FM calls on Pakistan to convince Taliban
Efforts for a solution in Afghanistan are dependent on “foreign intelligence organizations,” Afghan Foreign Minister Ahmet Osmani said, suggesting that the Taliban was “under the control of the Pakistani government.”
“Foreign intelligence organizations have influence in regions where the Taliban dominates,” Anadolu Agency quoted Osmani as saying.
“If they break connections, then negotiations with Taliban could proceed more easily,” Osmani said.
Outlining his country’s will for negotiations with the Taliban, Osmani said, “Pakistan should force the Taliban to sit at the negotiation table,” adding that the group’s most secure base of operations was in Pakistan.
Some of the members of the Taliban in Afghanistan have surrendered, but all of them should act in the same way, he added.