Turkish, Afghan, Pakistani leaders to hold trilateral summit

December 09, 2012, Sunday/ 17:01:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A seventh edition of the Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral summit, with an agenda of providing a comprehensive platform for furthering high-level political dialogue, security cooperation and development partnerships among the three brotherly countries for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan, will kick off in Ankara on Dec. 11.

Pakistani and Afghan delegations led by the countries' presidents, Asif Ali Zardari and Hamid Karzai, respectively, will arrive in the country to attend the three-day summit, which will start on Wednesday. The delegations will also include the officials of the foreign, communications and interior ministries of both countries, along with high-ranking military officials.

Held under the theme of “connectivity,” the meeting will also focus on strengthening economic and commercial cooperation through improving the existing ties and developing new links of transportation between the three countries.

The first of the annual summits between the countries was held in Ankara in April 2007, focusing mainly on security issues in war-torn Afghanistan. At future summits, the issues will be expanded to include economic and trade cooperation.

Afghanistan has accused Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency of supporting Taliban insurgents, who have launched a string of dramatic attacks in recent months as foreign troops prepare to pull out most combat troops by 2014.

Islamabad, which denies supporting the Taliban, has complained in turn that insurgents from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Pakistani Taliban, have been using Afghanistan as a base from which to launch attacks in Pakistan.

With the United States and its allies hoping to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan forces by 2014, the rift between Islamabad and Kabul has stoked fears Afghanistan will face an escalating civil war as foreign troops pull out.

Pakistan-Turkey relations to expand further, ambassador says

Pakistani Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Haroon Shaukat has said that the existing brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkey could be further enhanced with bilateral visits of journalists, academics and parliamentarians, during a luncheon with a delegation of senior Pakistani reporters on Saturday.

The delegation of Pakistani journalists arrived Turkey last week and will stay until the trilateral summit ends.

The visiting Pakistani journalists includes among others Tahir Hasan Khan, president of the Karachi press club; Fazil Jamili, vice-president of the Karachi press club and internet editor of Jang newspaper; Ghulam Muhammad Jamali, the president of Karachi union of journalists.

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