Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gül Hosts Trilateral Meeting with Karzai and Zadari

From TDZ:
Amid rising tension between New Delhi and Islamabad in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, President Abdullah Gül yesterday hosted a trilateral meeting with the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan in İstanbul for talks aimed at boosting cooperation between the neighbors.

. . . .

In the spring of 2007 Turkey arranged a meeting between Karzai and his then-Pakistani counterpart, Pervez Musharraf, after Kabul accused Islamabad of not doing enough to stop militants from entering Afghanistan from Pakistan.

During the landmark trilateral summit in Ankara in late April of last year, Karzai and Musharraf issued a joint statement called the “Ankara Declaration,” which stresses mutual commitment to fighting terrorism.

That was the first meeting between Karzai and Musharraf since September 2007, when they were brought together by US President George W. Bush to try to ease tensions.

Yesterday's trilateral meeting in İstanbul came in the midst of a recent row between New Delhi and Islamabad as India made allegations of Pakistani elements being involved in the terror attack on the Indian city of Mumbai.
For full article, click here.For more of the below analysis of the meeting from EDM, proceed here.
This is the second such trilateral summit that Turkey has arranged. The presidents of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan met for the first time on April 29 and 30, 2007, in Ankara. At that time the Pakistani and Afghan leaders issued the so-called Ankara Declaration, which underlined their intention to take concrete steps toward regional development and the fight against terrorism. Following the meeting, the parties agreed to form a joint working group to follow up on the conclusions of the summit and maintain the trilateral process (Stratejik Analiz, June 2007;

Gul extended his invitation for a new meeting to his counterparts during the UN General Assembly in September 2008, and they accepted. After deliberations over the scheduling, the three heads of state finally decided to meet in Istanbul. The main items on the summit agenda are cooperation in security and the economy. The joint working group composed of senior-level officials met the day before to discuss the specific areas set in the first trilateral meeting. Given Turkey’s experience, the parties are expected to reach an agreement to train Afghan and Pakistani officers in Turkey’s anti-drug trafficking and anti-terrorism educational centers. The joint declaration prepared by the working group will be approved by the leaders and made public. Moreover, representatives of the business sector met within the framework of the Istanbul Forum founded by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) with it’s the equivalent bodies from Afghanistan and Pakistan (, December 3;, December 5).

The inclusion of the private sector and economic issues as a separate group reflects Turkey’s recent foreign policy philosophy that a comprehensive solution to political problems can be built on the foundations of strong economic cooperation.

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