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US to hold more talks with Pak,Afghanistan

Buoyed by success of the first ever trilateral meetings with Pak and Afghanistan,the US will hold more such talks in the coming months.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: February 27, 2009 10:23:58 am

Buoyed by success of the first ever trilateral meetings with Pakistan and Afghanistan,the United States will hold more such talks in the coming months with the second one scheduled for late April or early May.

“Our basic purpose was to exchange views on the strategic issues now being reviewed in our policy review by the Obama Administration. That goal has been amply fulfilled,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her remarks at the tri-lateral meeting with her Afghan and Pakistan counterparts.

“Our three nations have a common goal,a common threat,and a common task. And my government commits itself to our friends and to the success of this common endeavour,” Clinton said.

The Pakistani delegation was led by its Foreign Minister,Shah Mahmood Qureshi,while Afghanistan was represented by its Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta. All the three delegations included their top military,intelligence and security officials.

Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan,Richard Holbrooke,was also be present at the meeting.

Clinton said the three days of talks between the three delegations – initially bilaterally and now at the trilateral level – have been in-depth,very specific,open,forthright.

Terming them as “unprecedented”,Clinton said she believes that these meetings will be extremely useful.

“I,therefore,am very pleased to announce that we will continue this new trilateral format on a regular basis. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late April or early May,” she said.

“These meetings would have been valuable even if they had simply been bilateral. If we had met with our Pakistani friends,if we had met with our friends from Afghanistan,that would have been important,” Clinton said.

“What makes these last three days especially meaningful is that they were trilateral. We have all been working together,” she said.

Referring to the three days of deliberations,Clinton said: “Both ministers have been extraordinary,eloquent,making very important statements”.

The representatives from the civilian and military sectors of both the governments have been not only forthcoming,but very receptive,listening one to the other.

“I thank you for these talented delegations and for your participation and support,” she said.

The three delegations were in Washington at the invitation of the Obama Administration to provide their input on the ongoing Afghan policy review of the US. Besides,meeting the top officials of the Administration,the Afghan and Pak leaders met leaders of the Congress and those at the Pentagon.

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