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Pakistani, Afghan Tribal Elders to Hold Meeting


Former Afghan President and chief of a new peace council Burhanuddin Rabbani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, 14 Oct 2010

Former Afghan President and chief of a new peace council Burhanuddin Rabbani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, 14 Oct 2010

Tribal elders from Pakistan and Afghanistan will soon hold a meeting, or jirga, in an attempt to bolster peace between the countries.

A spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry Abdul Basit announced the plans for the jirga Thursday following talks with a delegation of Afghanistan's High Council for Peace, headed by former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The spokesman said both sides agreed to convene the peace jirga with representatives from the two countries within the coming months. However, no specific date was announced.

Since his arrival in Islamabad on Tuesday, Rabbani has held talks with senior Pakistani officials, including army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani.

Officials say the Afghan and Pakistani officials also discussed the opening of a political office for the Afghan Taliban representative in Turkey, an idea supported by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Last month, leaders from the two countries gathered in Turkey for a trilateral summit aimed at improving security and cooperation.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were strained after Pakistan's northwestern tribal region became a stronghold for extremists who fled Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

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