News / Asia

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran Promise More Coordination

TEXT SIZE - +

Foreign ministers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran say their three countries will increase cooperation on regional issues in the coming months.  Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki signed a joint declaration Saturday after meeting in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. 

The foreign ministers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran say the meeting is part of a process to create a roadmap for a region where so much is at stake.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says security and economic cooperation top the list of key concerns. "It is important to consult amongst ourselves so that we are on the same page and we have closer positions on different issues that confront our neighborhood," he said.

The joint declaration calls for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran to coordinate efforts to combat extremism as well as drug and weapons smuggling.  But the ministers also focused on the United States new military strategy in Afghanistan.

The talks took place as American military reinforcements arrived in Afghanistan's southern Nimroz province, part of an effort to fight a growing insurgency.

A U.S. Marine sergeant (Wells) said he expected the Americans would be welcomed by the local people. "Wherever they go they are needed, they are welcome. We look forward to helping the people of Afghanistan in any way we can," he said.

But Iranian officials have expressed concerns about the increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, urging Asian nations to come up with a regional solution.  Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says his country remains wary of the U.S. approach. "If they continue the same policies, definitely there will not be any place, any room, for reconsideration, but definitely if they change their policy not only for Afghanistan but also for the other topics in the region that can be a subject to be considered," he said.

The plan is for the three countries to hold a series of high level meetings.  Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta says he is cautiously optimistic. ""I hope this decision which we took, our leadership took in Tehran to come frequently trilaterally together to discuss our common issues to eliminate the threats for our region help us to take more responsibility for us, for our region as Muslim countries, as nations with tremendous commonalities."

While the U.S. remains Afghanistan's key ally, U.S. President Barack Obama has said all of Afghanistan's neighbors, including Iran, will be needed to stabilize the country.
 


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid