Turkey hosts Afghan and Pakistani leaders in Istanbul summit


The leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan met Friday in Istanbul for Turkish-sponsored talks aimed at boosting trust and cooperation between the neighbors.
 
Turkish President Abdullah Gul is chairing the meeting attended by his counterparts, Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.  
Friday’s trilateral meeting is the second round of talks in a move to bring the two neighbors closer. The first summit was held in April last year which enabled Karzai and then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to discuss stepping up joint efforts for regional security.
Bilateral relations, further coordination and trilateral economic cooperation between the countries is topping Friday’s agenda.
Relations between the neighbors has long been testy with Afghanistan long accusing Pakistan of failing to take action against or even colluding with Taliban militants.
But Afghan President Hamid Karzai has forged a closer relationship with Pakistan’s new President, Asif Ali Zardari. There have been signs of cooperation between Afghan, Pakistani and foreign troops, especially in dealing with cross border infiltration of fighters and equipment.
Analysts say the leaders recognize the danger that insurgency poses for their respective countries.

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