Pakistan, Afghanistan agree for anti-terror cooperation

The News (Pakistan) – The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed Monday to fight terrorism and deny training and financing to terrorists in both countries.

Brought together by Turkish leaders, the pair issued a joint statement stressing a mutual commitment to fighting terrorism after meeting at Turkey’s presidential palace.

“The two presidents agreed to deny training and financing to terrorists and to elements involved in subversive and anti-state activities in each other’s country and to initiate immediate action on specific intelligence exchanges in this regard,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

Karzai and Musharraf reiterated their commitment to support moderation and fight all forms of “extremism and terrorism through coordinated action.”

The declaration was issued after the two leaders with Turkey’s President Ahmet Necdet Sezer standing between them locked hands and posed for the cameras together with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Karzai and Musharraf did not take any questions.

The statement from the Afghan and Pakistani leaders also said the two “resolved to work jointly for facilitating orderly repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.”

The two presidents, meanwhile, expressed “concern at the alarming increase in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and underlined the connection between terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime in the region, and emphasized the need for concerted efforts to combat these menaces.”

Musharraf has said that the meeting with Karzai was brokered by Erdogan, who is “trying to mediate” between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the row over cross-border militant movements.

Turkey’s president said the two visiting leaders would meet again in Ankara later this year or early next year.

Both the leaders also agreed to form a joint committee of Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan for confidence building between the two countries.

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