Istanbul summit reiterates pledge to counter terror

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zardari hails Turkish role in Pak-Afghan detente

ISTANBUL: President Asif Ali Zardari said Monday the Pakistan government would be willing to talk to the people who want to give up their way of life and are reconcilable.

President Zardari was answering questions at a joint news conference with Presidents Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on the conclusion of 4th Trilateral Summit among them.

In a joint declaration after the parleys, the three countries reiterated their determination to tackle terrorism in all its forms and importance of enhancing indigenous capacities to that effect.

The three leaders also adopted education as the latest field of cooperation among their respective countries with higher education identified for special focus in this behalf. “Dialogue, Development and Deterrence were the three pillars of our 3 D policy”, President Zardari said in reply to a question at the press conference.

“We cannot distance ourselves from dialogue and talk about only war”; the president said in response to the question whether his government would enter into dialogue with any group. If there are people who want to give up their way of life and are reconcilable”, then the government would talk to them, the president said.

To another question, President Zardari said the Swat operation was totally Pakistan’s indigenous operation carried out by Pakistan Army and no foreign soldiers or firepower was used to eradicate that menace.

He was confident that Trilateral Summit would yield desired results in enhancing cooperation among the three countries and to facilitate the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“The efforts of Turkish leaders to use their good offices to bring together Pakistan and Afghanistan to find a solution of their problems was commendable,” the president said.Afghan President Hamid Karzai also told a questioner that his government would be willing to enter into talks with groups of Taliban who were ready to lay down their arms.

He said his government might also request UN Security Council to remove such groups from the list of those identified for sanctions.Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Tuesday’s Regional Summit of Afghanistan and its six immediate neighbours was not a prelude to the forthcoming London conference on Afghanistan.

“The two events are not related to each other but the organizers of London moot could benefit from the discussions here”, he said. He said the trilateral summits would continue in the years to come, hoping that these would continue to make tangible progress towards achieving goals of strengthening ties among the three countries and to broker a durable Pak-Afghan peace and harmony.

The joint declaration said the summit, while reiterating determination to counter terrorism, reviewed the results of the parallel meeting the chiefs of Military and Directors of Intelligence services of their countries, emphasizing the need to continue cooperation among the military and intelligence institutions of the three countries with a particular focus on joint education and training activities as well as sharing best practices and lessons learned particularly in countering terrorism.

“Underlining the essentiality of enhanced regional cooperation as an indispensable pillar of a comprehensive and coordinated approach aimed at addressing the challenges, the presidents stressed that genuine regional cooperation can only emanate from within the region, said the joint declaration.

The three presidents also underlined the importance of education as a key area for the three countries given their young and dynamic populations. In this behalf, they endorsed the recommendations of the education ministers’ conference of the three countries held earlier this month at Ankara. The three countries agreed to “spend every effort to accelerate the qualitative development of their youth and underlined the particular role education played in this regard”.

The summit conference also agreed to focus on closer cooperation in economic infrastructure particularly in the field of energy, trade and transportation at their next summit meeting. In the previous three trilateral summits, it was decided to open up political, economic and security fields for cooperation before education became the latest field of enhanced ties.

Read more:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=26880

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