Number 255 | February 13, 2014
On February 13, Turkey hosted the eighth Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Summit, to strengthen political, security and economic cooperation among the three countries.
During the Summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gül met Afghan President Hamid Karzai, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. On the sidelines of the summit, foreign ministers, military officials and business leaders from the three countries met in separate sessions.
The main focus of this year's summit was maintaining security and promoting security in Afghanistan after the NATO troop pullout and efforts to negotiate with the Taliban.
In a press conference following the meetings, President Gul stated that "by the end of this year, [NATO-led International Security Assistance Force] ISAF will withdraw from the country, which we have discussed in detail. Our common will is to maintain peace and security in Afghanistan, with the support of the international community".
Afghan President Karzai, who is due to step down after the presidential elections on April 5, is pushing for Pakistan to help the start of peace talks with the Taliban. He has demanded progress on these talks before Afghanistan signs a security deal with the US to allow approximately 10,000 troops to remain in the country after this year.
The meetings between Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which started in 2007 and have since evolved into a trilateral platform based on a shared will, continue to focus on security issues, including the fight against extremist groups, and economic cooperation.