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Peace vital to region’s development: Pakistan

Peace vital to region’s development: Pakistan

Apr 25, 2013 - 11:44

ISLAMABAD (PANinfo-icon): Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon have agreed that peace and stability was vital to the economic development of the two countries and the wider region, the foreign ministry in Islamabad said on Wednesday.

As part of high-level consultations among Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US, a Trilateral Core Group meeting was held in Brussels late on Wednesday.

President Hamid Karzai, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani attended the tension-defusing talks.

The participants agreed a sustainable reconciliation process was essential for the achievement of their shared objectives, the ministry said, adding the meeting was held in a positive and constructive atmosphere.

According to a statement from the ministry, the participants noted that terrorism and extremism continued to pose a threat to the region which impeded economic progress. They agreed to pursue political, security and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Pakistan side reaffirmed to continue its consistent support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. “Pakistan remains committed to continue its positive contribution toward a durable peace and sustainable economic development in Afghanistan.”

Political analysts, meanwhile, described the meeting as the latest US initiative to repair the strained relations between the neighbours, which tend to bicker over the reconciliation drive and border issues.

One commentator, Mohammad Hassan Haqyar believes the Brussels talks -- arranged by Kerry -- was a timely effort get the neighbours on the same page and overcome their trust deficit.

Following the meeting, the US secretary hailed the talks as “productive and fruitful”.  However, he hastened to add that any results would have to be measured in terms of improved ties.

He told reporters after the much-discussed meeting: "We had a very extensive and … a very productive and constructive dialogue; we have all agreed that results are what will tell the story, not statements at a press conference.”

Without giving details of the issues discussed, Kerry said they had agreed on continuing “a very specific dialogue on both the political track as well as the security track”.


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