Iran, Pakistan pledge support for Afghan-led peace process

Islamabad, Feb 17, 2012- Pakistani and Iranian Presidents on Friday declared support for Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and agreed to enhance cooperation to root out extremism and terrorism in region.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari ‘reiterated their full support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive process of peace and reconciliation,” said a joint statement issued at the trilateral summit in Islamabad. The joint statement was also signed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and issued at their joint press conference at the conclusion of the summit.

The Iranian and Pakistani presidents assured Afghan President that they would extend full cooperation and stressed that any initiative in this regard must have authentic afghan ownership, the statement said. They agreed on “strengthening cooperation for eradicating extremism, terrorism and militancy and to address the root causes of these menaces, condemning the killings of civilians as well as any kind of assassinations”. The three Presidents agreed not to allow any threat emanating from their respective territories against each other. “All parties agreed to commence trilateral consultations on an agreement in this regard,” the statement said.

The three leaders also mandated their countries interior and intelligence ministers to develop a framework of trilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of counter terrorism, counter-narcotics and border management a within six month period. Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan will cooperate in combating the problems of narcotic drugs production and trafficking and in combating transnational organized crimes. The three countries will develop a framework of comprehensive cooperation and to take pragmatic steps for realizing mutually beneficial cooperation to promote stability, peace and shared prosperity, the statement said.

They will ensure respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, as enshrined in the UN Charter and will proceed on the basis of mutual interest, mutual respect, non interference and non intervention in internal affairs. Pakistan and Iran will contribute to the development and reconstruction in Afghanistan. On economic cooperation, they agreed to enhance three-way trade by facilitation measures, including preferential tariff and free trade arrangements as well as barter trade. They also expressed commitment to expand trade in transit and encourage the private sector to invest in the three countries and enhance connectivity by promoting project cooperation in infrastructure, road and rail links, transport and communications.

The three countries will develop mutually beneficial cooperation in the energy, mining and minerals, agriculture and other sectors and prioritize cooperation for socio-economic development.They decided that the Fourth Trilateral Summit shall be held in Kabul by the end of the year 2012. The exact dates will be communicated through diplomatic channels. The three Presidents meanwhile mandated the foreign ministers to prepare and coordinate a Roadmap for Trilateral Cooperation for submission to the next summit.



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