Turkey to host disputed Pakistan, Afghanistan in trilateral meeting

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Turkey to host disputed Pakistan, Afghanistan in trilateral meeting
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Eylül 24, 2008 10:29

Turkey plans to host disputed countries Afghanistan and Pakistan in a couple of months at a trilateral meeting in Istanbul, sources told the country's state-run news agency Tuesday. (UPDATED)

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Turkish President Abdullah Gul met Tuesday with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan also participated in the meeting. 

Zardari and the Afghan President Hamid Karzai had accepted Turkey's proposal for a trilateral meeting in Istanbul, sources told the Anatolian Agency after Tuesday's meeting.

The row between the countries is the most serious since Pakistan abandoned its support for the hardline Taliban movement and backed the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

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Afghan and Western officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of failing to do enough to stop extremists based in its troubled tribal region and have expressed concerns over its recent negotiations with Taliban militants.


Islamabad rejects the claims, saying that the root of the problem is in Afghanistan and that it has more than 90,000 troops along the border, with 1,000 Pakistani soldiers having died fighting insurgents since 2001.

Gul also met on Tuesday European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Barroso told Gul that Turkey had played a major role in its region and that it had stood as an element of stability in the face of regional problems, Anatolian Agency reported.

Turkey has started to make greater positive contributions to solving conflicts in the region.

It has been mediating between Syria and Israel, taking some kind of a role in Iran’s nuclear dispute and finally working on the formation of a Caucasus alliance, even discussing the issue with Armenia, a country that it has no diplomatic relations with.

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