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Afghanistan, Pakistan Urge Cooperation on Fighting Terrorists

Afghanistan and Pakistan are urging each other to do more to stop terrorism, blaming each other for violence in their countries during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. From United Nation's headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.

Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta said terrorism has been on the rise in his country, as al-Qaida and the Taliban and their backers try to sabotage the peace process there. He also looked across the border to Pakistan, saying a truce in tribal areas is also contributing to his country's worsening security situation. "One of the main factors contributing to the deterioration of the security situation in the country is the de facto truce in the tribal areas beyond the border," he said.

He said the terrorists are sustained by a complex set of networks and infrastructure that cannot be defeated by military operations inside Afghanistan alone.

But Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi brushed aside the possibility of Afghan or other foreign forces entering his country to help eradicate terror networks. "Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against other countries. However, no foreign troops will be allowed to operate inside Pakistan," he said.

But both diplomats agreed that terrorist networks constitute a common threat to both their countries, and urged each other to cooperate more to eliminate them, saying peace and stability are in their vital interests.

Their comments before the Security Council debate on Afghanistan come just two days after the latest suicide bombing in Afghanistan - this one outside the Indian embassy in Kabul. The blast killed more than 40 people and injured scores more. Afghan officials had suggested that Pakistan's government was involved, a charge Islamabad has denied.