Karzai off to Tajikistan for quartet talks
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai, heading a high level official delegation, on Thursday left for Tajikistan to join his Tajik, Russian and Pakistani counterparts in a quartet meeting scheduled for Friday in Dushanbe, an official said.
The presidents of Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan are due to meet tomorrow on the international battle against terror and the war on drugs, as well as economic issues, deputy presidential spokesman, Hamid Almi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
At the end of their meeting, a joint declaration is expected to be released by the four leaders, Almi said. Karzai is expected to meet his Tajik, Russian and Pakistani counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting, he said.
The president is also expected to discuss with Tajikistan leadership issues concerning the joint border affairs and efforts at combating drug smuggling. The construction of bridges over Amu River would also come under discussion between the two leaders.
In his talks with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zarzai and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Karzai would insist on increased cooperation over the war against terrorism and bilateral trade with Pakistan and Russian role in regional cooperation and its assistance with Afghan security forces to enable them to maintain security for their country on their own.
Karzai is accompanied by foreign minister, Dr. Zalmay Rassoul, adviser on national security, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, counternarcotics minister, Zarar Ahmad Muqbil and chief administrative officer at Presidential Palace, Abdul Karim Khurram.
It will be the third meeting of its kind among the four leaders. The second meeting was held earlier this month between Medvedev, Karzai and Zardari in Russia‘s southern Black Sea resort of Sochi .
The first meeting was a little more than a year ago, on July 30, 2009, in Tajikistan‘s capital Dushanbe.
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