Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey summit in Ankara on Thursday

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will attend the trilateral summit with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Thursday.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will attend the trilateral summit with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Thursday.

ANKARA - The 8th Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Summit will be held in Ankara on Thursday.

`Sustainable Peace in the Heart of Asia` is the theme of the summit. It is taking place against a backdrop of important political and security transitions in Afghanistan, with the withdrawal of NATO/ISAF forces by the end of this year and including presidential and provincial elections on April 5.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will attend the trilateral summit with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan are in dialogue with the Taliban. Commentators believe that the Taliban will be playing a key role in war or peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the withdrawal of U.S. led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The trilateral summit process between Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan was initiated by Turkey in February 2007 when Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul visited Pakistan and said that they were are all brothers who needed to support each other in order to bring security and stability to the region.

In 2009 Afghanistan and Pakistan pledged to increase coordination between their political, military and intelligence institutions to fight terrorism in the region as part of the trilateral Ankara cooperation process.

The military and intelligence chiefs of Afghanistan and Pakistan had met for the first time during that summit.

The trilateral summits between Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan have found some common ground between Islamabad and Kabul however they have also served to highlight their continued distrust.

In September 2011, Chief Afghan Peace Negotiator and a Former President of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated by the Taliban.

The assassination created a serious mistrust between Afghanistan and Pakistan while Afghanistan accused Pakistan of being involved in the assassination. In the trilateral summit of 2011, Afghanistan urged Pakistan to take concrete steps to curb militants who posed a threat for both countries.

Three agreements were signed during the trilateral summit. An agreement on joint military training and exercises between the militaries of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan was signed by Chiefs of Staff of the three countries.

The last summit was held in December 2012 in Ankara.

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