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.
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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid