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US welcomes Istanbul conference on Afghanistan security

United States Deputy secretary of State Williams Burns (R), Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (L) and Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (C) pose for photographers on November 2, 2011 during the Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul. -AFP Photo

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday welcomed agreement between Afghanistan,its neighbours, and the wider region on the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan's neighbors and near-neighbors have come together to offer support to a sovereign, independent and democratic Afghanistan,” State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

“They have endorsed Afghan priorities including Afghan-led reconciliation, transition to Afghan security leadership, and regionally integrated economic growth (e.g the New Silk Road vision),” the statement said.

The United States was pleased to participate in the Istanbul conference as a supporter of the process, and they will continue to offer our support to Afghanistan and its region as they work to follow on from the commitments in the declaration to deepen regional cooperation, starting with technical meetings in Kabul in the coming months and a foreign ministerial in Kabul next June, Nuland added.

“We look forward to the Bonn Conference for Afghanistan on December 5, at which we will urge the international community to build on these regional efforts by making our long-term commitment to Afghanistan clearer and more specifi,” the spokesperson said.


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