News / Asia

Turkey Hosts Trust-Building Talks Between Afghanistan, Pakistan

President of Turkey Abdullah Gul, left, and his counterparts Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, center, and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan arrive for  a Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010.
President of Turkey Abdullah Gul, left, and his counterparts Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, center, and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan arrive for a Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010.
Dorian Jones

Turkey hosted its 5th meeting between heads of state of Afghanistan and Pakistan in Istanbul in an effort to improve relations between the two countries.

There was applause as the presidents of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed a series of agreements to improve cooperation on a variety of issues from security to aid relief.

The agreements are all part of Turkish led efforts to build up trust between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which observers say is crucial to ending the Taliban insurgency.

But a a new role for Turkey may be emerging in ending the conflict. A senior Taliban member, in an interview this week in the  BritishDaily Telegraph  newspaper,  said the group wants to open a base in a neutral country for  meaningful peace talks.  One of the countries  mentioned was Turkey.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, at a press conference after meeting with his Turkish and Pakistan counterparts, said he was open to Turkey hosting the talks. "It has been discussed with me previously by gentlemen, dignitaries close to the Taliban movement . The idea of Turkey serving as place where gatherings take place, where a presentation can be established in order to facilitate a reconciliation and integration, has been  discussed. If Turkey can be kind to provide for such a venue we the government of Afghanistan will  be pleased and happy to see that facilitation take place by Turkey," he said.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul was taken by surprise by the request, but pledged that Turkey would help in any way. "I am not aware of the Taliban interview , he said, but I would say some general words. We attach great importance to stability, to security of Afghanistan and what ever will serve for the future reconstruction of Afghanistan we will be there," he said.

At Friday's meeting, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to hold joint military exercises as part of efforts to build trust between Kabul and Islamabad.

Observers say deep suspicions remain between the two countries,  particularly over accusations that Pakistan's intelligence forces, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI,  are supporting the Taliban - a charge Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari strongly denied at the press conference. "Let me assure you that ISI is not involved in the Taliban, especially as I , the husband of Benazir Bhutto and a victim of terrorism would not allow such an operation or such a support," he said.

Mr. Zardari's wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assasinated  in a suicide attack in the city of Rawalpindi in December 2007.

Despite tensions, Turkish diplomats are keen to point out when they started their trilateral meetings the then leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan would not even talk to one another,  On Thursday night the Afghan and Pakistan presidents dined together.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid