British PM set for talks with leaders of Pakistan, Afghanistan

By AFP
Published: February 2, 2013

Talks are a part of the ongoing efforts to help to strengthen Afghanistan-Pakistan relations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan this weekend as part of a trilateral summit to prevent a Taliban resurgence when foreign troops leave, Downing Street said Saturday.

The premier will dine with President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at his country retreat Chequers in Buckinghamshire, southeast England, on Sunday.

Cameron will then hold the first in-depth top-level talks with both leaders and their key officials on Monday.

“The Prime Minister will host the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan at Chequers on Sunday and Monday as part of his ongoing efforts to help to strengthen Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, support an Afghan peace and reconciliation process and promote regional peace and stability,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“For the first time, we will bring together the political and security establishments from both Afghanistan and Pakistan, with foreign ministers, chiefs of army staff, chiefs of intelligence and the chair of the Afghan High Peace Council attending the meeting.

“Discussions are expected to focus on the Afghan-led peace process and how the Pakistanis and international community can support it. We also expect the Afghans and Pakistanis to make further progress on the Strategic Partnership Agreement they committed to in September.”

Back in December, Cameron had announced Britain would withdraw 3,800 of the country’s 9,000 troops from Afghanistan in 2013, as Nato prepares for a full security handover to Afghan forces at the end of next year.

Monday’s talks will meanwhile be the third trilateral session since summer last year, after meetings in Kabul in July and in New York in September.

“This trilateral process sends a very clear message to the Taliban: now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful political process in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson added.

“As the Prime Minister has set out previously, a stable Afghanistan is not just in the interests of Afghans, but also in the interests of their neighbours and the UK.

“We share the same vision for Afghanistan: a secure, stable and democratic country that never again becomes a haven for international terror.

“We are working together to achieve it and Afghanistan’s neighbours have a vital role to play. It is vital not just for the future security of their citizens, but for their prosperity too.”

Zardari arrives in UK

President Asif Ali Zardari has arrived in London to attend the trilateral summit with leaders of Afghanistan and Britain to assess the joint strategy for giving impetus to reconciliation process which is aimed at ensuring long term stability in Afghanistan.

The trilateral summit is a political and diplomatic initiative and part of efforts of the international community including United States to let political strategy take centre stage as the US administration goes ahead with plans to start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

Meetings of the three leaders will spread over more than one session and include Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director General ISI will also reportedly participate in the meetings.

For its part, Pakistan has maintained that it is fully supportive of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Reader Comments (4)

  • Feb 4, 2013 - 7:49PM

    Before participating in the trilateral talks going to held in the United Kingdom,Afghan president recently the warned west not to use peace negotiation as a tool against his government.

    As well Kabul and Washington are frustrated that Pakistan is not monitoring the where about and activities of Talibans prisoners it has released in recent months.

    Readers are embarrassed having seen the news recently published by Washington Post.

    It is welknown that Taliban prisoners were released but the repeatedly requested on the Afghan government.

    And once again,Pakistan is being pressurised to releasing more .

    American itself has admiitted that Pakistan is dependable ally with remakable behave .

    Pakistan in the field of coopration has established number of unique examples.

    Pakistan maintained a good tradition by releasing prisoners ,in this way served the peace process better .
    As for as monitoring of the released prisoners is concerned,It does not have the sources to keep tab on them.

    Recommend

  • Feb 4, 2013 - 9:12PM

    A comprehensive step toward peace.

    Recommend

  • Feb 5, 2013 - 2:10PM

    Chances are bright,reaching the agreed point between Pakistan and Afghanistan within short span of time.

    British premier emphasized Taliban to give up the path of confrontation and participate peace negotiation for the country’s better future.

    Opinion makers are expressing their reservations over the Taliban consent becoming the part of on going peace process as well as they could bide their time until total foreign troops withdrawal from Aghanistan set in 2014,when Afghan armed forces would assume total responsibility of internal and bodering security.

    Peace in the region is essential, for safe return of foreign troops Afghanistan,sincer efforts are made by the British prime minister,deserve admirable and congratulation sincer efforts does not go wast.

    All the stake holder should adopte the way leading to peace in the region,on going peace process must be successful at any cost.

    It would be good omen in case,Taliban intend to share power after total re patriation

    Recommend

  • Feb 5, 2013 - 4:48PM

    It is highly unlikely that peace process has begun without American participation notewith standing the fact that United States as a super power called leader of the allies against terrorism.

    Afghan has no value without American assistance What Afghan government do without United States,nothing .

    A single super power still fighting with Taliban and they still unleashed not undercontrol Nuclear power facing failure and compelled to negotiate with them .Trilateral discussion and outcome?
    No, not understand able
    .
    It is an admitted fact that behind the scene floppy traingle going on in the united kingdom has full American support,limits has been set by ….and now they are moving on it.

    Recommend

More in World