News / Asia

Istanbul Meeting on Afghanistan Stresses Cooperation

From left: Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Gul and Asif Ali Zardari in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 1, 2011.
From left: Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Gul and Asif Ali Zardari in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 1, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
Dorian Jones

In the second and final day of meetings on Afghanistan in Istanbul, Turkey, participants of the international conference focused on Afghan security and economic development as foreign troops prepare to leave the country by the end of 2014.

Addressing the conference, Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned there would be no hope of peace in his war-torn country without help from regional neighbors. Officials from some 20 countries and aid agencies who attended the conference stressed the need for cooperation, particularly on the question of security.

At a press conference with Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said an important step had been taken for the region.

Dubbed the "Istanbul process," the agreement, as Rassoul describes it, commits countries in the region to resist becoming safe havens for terrorists.

"[The] process will allow countries in the heart of Asia to implement important confidence building measures, toward a more effective, broader and deeper regional cooperation that promotes security, stability and economic development in our region," said Rassoul.

Pakistan has repeatedly been accused by both Washington and Kabul of providing tacit if not direct support to the Taliban insurgency, a charge Islamabad denies.

But Islamabad is seen as playing an important role in bringing the Taliban to the peace table, and Karzai called on Pakistan to bring Taliban leaders into negotiations.  

Although Karzai on Tuesday ruled out direct talks with the Taliban, Rassoul left the door open to future talks with the insurgent group.

"We know that there are people among the Taliban and others that are willing to have peace under the conditions that I have proposed to you," he said. "I am confident and optimistic [we can] achieve peace [through this] process."

Improved Afghan-Pakistan relations stressed

Many other commitments were made during Wednesday's conference in Istanbul, not only in the field of security, but also in trade and education. Observers say the two days of meetings will ultimately be judged successful is if there is the start of a thaw in the icy relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Alistair Burt, Britain's Minister for Middle the East and South Asia, also stressed the importance of improved relations between the countries.

"I made it clear this morning [that] the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan has to be very close," said Burt. "They both have a vested issue in dealing with scourge of terrorism, and we believe they both have a vested interest in making sure that those who can abide by the conditions set out by President Karzai for inclusion in the political process should come back into the political process."

September's assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was heading peace efforts with the Taliban, resulted in the near collapse of relations between the countries. Kabul accuses Islamabad of being behind the Taliban suicide bomber who killed Rabbani, a charge Islamabad denies.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and the Afghan president committed to a joint investigation of the assassination on Tuesday, following a trilateral summit with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Many consider the probe a potentially important step in rebuilding trust between the neighboring South Asian countries.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid