Zardari in Tehran for tri-lateral talks

Summit in light of US and NATO troop draw down in Afghanistan.

Afp June 24, 2011

TEHRAN: The presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan arrived in Tehran on Friday for a three-way summit with their Iranian counterpart and to attend an anti-terrorism conference, IRNA news agency reported.

The summit to be attended by Presidents Asif Ali Zardari, Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes as the United States announced that it will draw down by 33,000 its contingent of 99,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.

Several hundred French soldiers have also been recalled from the country recently.

Britain and Germany, which have the largest presence in Afghanistan after the US, have also declared their intention to reduce their contingent by the end of the year.

Iran has always been hostile to the presence of NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, saying they strengthened terrorist groups such as Taliban and Al-Qaeda more than it weakened them.

Tehran itself suffers from the activities of the armed Sunni Muslim group Jundallah around its border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Jundallah is on the United States' list of outlawed terrorist groups.

After the three-way summit, Zardari and Karzai will attend on Saturday an anti-terrorism conference alongside Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Iranian media reported.

Other nations will also attend the conference as observers.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, which has issued two arrest warrants on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region, where a bloody conflict has raged for eight years.

Iran, which is on the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism, regularly accuses Israel and the US of plotting terrorist attacks against its territory.



Nazia Saleem | 10 years ago | Reply Since 2008, when the new People’s government assumed the reigns of Pakistan, things began to warm up all over again between Pakistan and Iran, which unfortunately had reached a crescendo during Musharraf (another military dictator) era and more so had come to the end of the roads. Zardari has declared relations with Iran as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He has vowed to cement the relations between the two countries and for the purpose he embarked for Iran. It was due alone to his concerted efforts that Iran and Afghanistan joined hands with Pakistan to fight against terrorism in a conference against this menace. This visit of President is slap on the faces of those, who was propagating against PPP government for distancing itself from Iran because of US pressure. It is gigantic evidence that PPP government is pursuing an independent foreign policy and does not take dictation like previous regimes of right wing political parties and dictators. The willingness of Iranian government to provide Pakistan electricity will alleviate the problem of power shortage.. All of this has been possible due to focused and sustained efforts by Zardari. He has continued with the legacy of Bhutto of maintaining close ties with Iran and other Muslim countries.
Frank | 10 years ago | Reply ashol sai
I appreciate the few comments praising Mr.Zardari, this is what democracy can achieve. So, please support democracy, don’t fall behind those Generals who had betrayed you for years
What makes you so sure that the Army isn't supporting this new foreign policy? The army has at last realized that America is an enemy of Pakistan, and is seeking to build an anti-American alliance with Iran, russia and China, other regional countries threatened by American imperialism.
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