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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid