Gilani, Karzai discuss regional peace

February 16, 2012

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Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) shake hands at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on February 16, 2012. - AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday met and discussed bilateral issues and regional situation.

Karzai is on a two-day official visit to join President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a trilateral summit, aimed at promoting regional cooperation and strengthening peace and stability in the region.

In a meeting held at the Prime Minister House here, the two leaders discussed a range of issues concerning Pakistan and Afghanistan in diverse areas. They called for strengthening bilateral relations between the two neighbourly countries.

The two sides also discussed the ongoing efforts for ensuring peace in Afghanistan for an ultimate peace in the region.

The meeting was followed by delegation-level talks.

Prime Minister Gilani was assisted by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, Advisor to the PM on Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain and minister-in-waiting Engineer Shaukatullah. Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani was also present.

The Afghan President's delegation among others comprised of Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Zalmai Rassoul and Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak.

Pakistan on Thursday welcomes the leaders of Afghanistan and Iran for a regional summit at a key juncture in peace efforts with the Taliban and amid rising tensions between Tehran and Israel.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Islamabad mid-morning for a series of talks with government and opposition figures on his second visit to the country in nine months.

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was expected to arrive in the afternoon before formal summit talks on Friday, followed by a news conference.