News / Asia

Britain's Cameron Hosts 3rd Summit With Afghan, Pakistani Leaders

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London January 16, 2013.Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London January 16, 2013.
x
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London January 16, 2013.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London January 16, 2013.
The leaders of Britain, Afghanistan and Pakistan have met for private dinner near London at the start of a two-day summit aimed at improving the tense relationship between the South Asian neighbors. 
 
British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted Sunday's dinner for Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at his countryside estate of Chequers. The talks were due to resume in London on Monday. 
 
It is the third meeting between the three leaders since they started a series of summits last July in Kabul, followed by New York in September. But, the London summit is the first to involve senior military and intelligence officials of Afghanistan and Pakistan in addition to the political leaders. 
 
Britain wants the two neighbors to work together to promote regional stability as it prepares to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year. The British troops have been fighting a years-long Taliban insurgency as part of a NATO mission aimed at helping Afghan security forces take security control of their country. 
 
Afghan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told VOA that the Afghan and Pakistani military and intelligence officials met informally on Sunday ahead of the summit. Faizi said summit participants will discuss how to promote a fledgling Afghan peace process in which President Karzai has proposed holding talks with Taliban militants to end the insurgency. 
 
Faizi said Afghanistan wants to ensure that Pakistan plays a constructive role in the peace process. Kabul has long accused Islamabad of providing a safe haven to Taliban fighters who cross into Afghanistan to carry out attacks. Pakistan denies the charge. 
 
Pakistan freed about 20 Taliban prisoners in recent months to enable them to represent the Islamist group in negotiations. An Afghan High Peace Council created by Karzai had requested the prisoner releases. But, the whereabouts of some of those former prisoners is unknown. 
 
The Taliban has been trying to set up an office in Qatar to provide an address from which to conduct peace talks. Karzai's spokesman said Afghanistan will not deal with such an office if the Taliban uses it for anything other than negotiations, or if it comes under the influence of "any other country." He said any groups involved in peace talks with the Afghan government also must respect the Afghan constitution. 
 
In the latest violence in Afghanistan, authorities said a roadside bomb struck a civilian car in the southern province of Helmand late Saturday, killing a family of four and their driver. Roadside bombs are a common weapon of Taliban militants fighting to oust  Karzai's Western-backed government. The devices often are placed along popular roads and regularly kill civilians. 
 
In another development, Kabul police chief Ayub Salangi told VOA his officers arrested six suspected suicide bombers in the center of the capital on Sunday. He said the suspects were detained in a raid on a residential building where various weapons were seized, including explosive vests. 
 
Taliban militants carried out two assaults in Kabul last month, targeting a traffic police building and the Afghan intelligence service and killing several security personnel. 
 
Adil Shahzeb in London and VOA's Dari Service contributed to this report.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs