Amid new tensions, Sartaj Aziz due in Kabul tomorrow
Aziz will participate in a three-day international conference, which begins in Kabul tomorrow. Representatives from 70 countries and organisations will attend the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference.
Pakistani media reported Aziz would try during his visit to mend fences with Afghanistan, which blames Pakistan for failing to rein in terrorists on its soil.
Afghan officials claim a wave of recent attacks in Kabul, which killed many people including civilians, were planned in Pakistan with the support of ISI.
Last night, the Presidential Palace in Kabul said the biggest issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan is the presence of terrorist groups, particularly the Haqqani network, in the neighbouring country.
In the build-up to the event, President Ashraf Ghani said: “We want to revitalise the Silk Road and turn Afghanistan into a regional hub for connecting Central Asia to South Asia.”
Participants will review progress made since RECCA-I, including in areas of trade and transport, energy, minerals extraction, private investments, vocational training and disaster preparedness.
Organisors say the conference seeks to reaffirm international support for a sovereign Afghanistan integrated in the regional and global economy. Afghanistan will push the international community to meet its financial commitments.
The RECCA process was set in motion in 2005 and five meetings have been held so far in Kabul, New Delhi, Islamabad, Istanbul and Dushanbe.
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