ISLAMABAD: While reiterating their common resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey stressed the importance of a political settlement and urged the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process.
A joint statement adopted at the conclusion of the Eighth Trilateral Summit of the three countries in Ankara and released Friday by the Foreign Office emphasised the importance of a political settlement within the framework of the Afghan constitution, to ensure durable peace in Afghanistan. The Ankara Summit was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The leaders were accompanied by their respective ministers of foreign affairs.
During the Ankara Summit fruitful and comprehensive talks on regional and international security issues were held. “These were held at a time when the heart of Asia is going through a decisive period for the future and significant developments that may have impact on efforts to promote peace and security in the region are expected to take place,” the statement said. It reiterated the importance of the ongoing electoral process in Afghanistan in securing a smooth and successful political transition in the country, and underlined in this regard the necessity of a suitable security environment.
The summit asked the international community to continue to contribute to the efforts aiming at supporting Afghan-led and Afghan-owned processes, including those concentrating on further enhancing the Afghan National Security Forces. The talks stressed importance of enhanced cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan as immediate neighbours and the need to taking practical steps in supporting the peace and reconciliation process and in promoting the necessary security environment during the Afghan presidential and provincial council elections.
The three leaders underlined the necessity of enhancing close coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan for effective border management, besides reiterating their common resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The summit also welcomed Pakistan’s decision to extend the stay of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan until December 31, 2015, while calling upon the international community to assist the two countries in the timely and honourable return of Afghan refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan.
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