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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More