Karzai Heads to London for Trilateral Summit

News - Afghanistan


President Hamid Karzai departed Kabul on Saturday to go to London for a two-day trilateral summit with British and Pakistani officials.

The summit hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron will discuss cooperation of the three countries for peace and security in war-torn Afghanistan, according to a statement from Karzai's office Saturday.

"The main point of the talks will be the peace process, the Afghanistan and Pakistan relationship and the fight against terrorism in the region," it said.

This will be the third trilateral meeting hosted by the UK. The first was held in Kabul in July when Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited the Afghan capital. The second was held in the US at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Afghan officials attending the conference include Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul, National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Afghan National Army Chief of Staff Shir Mohammad Karimi, Chairman of the High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani, Director of Transition Commission Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Karzai's international relations adviser Yahya Marofiand, and Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi.

It is expected Pakistan will send their counterpart officials.

"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," a statement from the UK government said Saturday.

"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.

"The UK's role has been to encourage ideas, identify areas of agreement and provide a forum for open dialogue," the UK statement said, adding that it was time for the Taliban to participate in a peaceful political process in Afghanistan.

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