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Pakistan, Afghanistan to rekindle ties

Latest update : 2008-04-23

In a joint statement published Wednesday, the two neighbouring countries agreed to give "fresh momentum" to diplomatic ties strained by cross-border terrorist activities and trafficking.

Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to a "new beginning" to bilateral relations based on complete mutual trust and understanding, a joint statement said Wednesday.
The announcement came as Afghan foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta concluded his two-day visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, his first since Pakistan elected a new government.
Spanta held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi and met President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
"Both sides reaffirmed their resolve towards intensifying cooperation and coordination between the two nations in the fight against international terrorism and narcotics," said the statement issued after the visit.
It said "in order to achieve further success in this area, emphasis was put upon strengthening the established mechanisms between the two countries."
Ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been beset with a history of mistrust over their efforts to combat Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants under the aegis of the US-led "war on terror".
"The two foreign ministers expressed their satisfaction with the results of the last round of joint peace jirga (assembly) held in Kabul in August, and decided that the process should be given fresh momentum," the statement added.
Qureshi told his Afghan counterpart that "Pakistan would be soon nominating its members for a smaller Peace Jirga (Jirga-gai)", which will hold its first meeting in Islamabad.
The two sides also discussed ways to further accelerate development in the region and in Afghanistan.
"Both ministers agreed on the importance of convening the third regional economic cooperation conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) in Islamabad," the statement added.

Date created : 2008-04-23