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Analysts differ on Istanbul conference outcome

Analysts differ on Istanbul conference outcome

Oct 31, 2011 - 20:31

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Some political analysts say the November 2 regional conference in Istanbul will be useless, but others believe it will be fruitful for Afghanistaninfo-icon.

The ministerial-level conference is being attended by the United States, France, Germany, Pakistaninfo-icon, Afghanistan, Turkey and NATOinfo-icon countries, as well as representatives from the United Nations.

Among other things, participants will discuss issues related to the ongoing security transition to Afghan forces, the withdrawal of foreign troops and the reconciliation process.

"Maybe some countries make promises of security in Afghanistan, but their vows will not be effective in the current political situation," political analyst Ghulam Jilani Zwak told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The event comes ahead of the second Bonn conference due on December 5 in Germany. Zwak believes participating countries may only reveal their plans.

Another analyst, Wahid Muzhda, said since regional countries were against Afghanistan's long-term strategic cooperation pact with the US, the conference would not yield any outcome.

Currently, Afghanistan and the United States are discussing the strategic cooperation deal and a traditional Loya Jirgainfo-icon will convene in mid-November to float proposals in this regard.

Safeguarding Afghanistan's national interests, an end to nighttime military operations, strict restrictions on international soldiers to avoid harming civilians and legalising their presence are some of the core conditions set by the government for signing the agreement.

However, a professor at Kabul University, Ahmad Zia Rafat, said the Istanbul conference would attract worldinfo-icon attention towards Afghanistan. "Since resolving Afghanistan's problems need cooperation from regional countries, the conference is vital."

Rifat added: "We should wait to know what regional countries' policies toward Afghan politics and economy are."


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