KABUL, June 14: Afghanistan’s neighbours and regional heavyweights met in Kabul on Thursday to do something they rarely do — try to tackle common threats and problems together.

With Nato’s combat mission ending in 2014, the region’s countries are being called on to help stabilise Afghanistan by joining forces to resolve regional problems such as extremism, drug-trafficking, poor coordination on economic issues and, most importantly, terrorism.

Any cooperation, however, is bound to share the stage with long-time neighbourhood rivalries, the ongoing war in Afghanistan and a fragile effort to reach a peace accord with the Taliban.

Opening the one-day conference, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the head of the government-appointed peace council would travel soon to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to seek their continued help in talking peace with the Taliban in hopes of ending decades of war.

President Karzai said that successful peace discussions with the Taliban were one of the most important elements in attaining harmony in the region. The Afghan leader, who has pushed neighbouring Pakistan to do more to help further the peace process, thanked Saudi Arabia for its help in trying to find a political resolution to the war.

“We also very much hope that our brothers and sisters in Pakistan will do same,” he said.—Agencies

KABUL, June 14: Afghanistan’s neighbours and regional heavyweights met in Kabul on Thursday to do something they rarely do — try to tackle common threats and problems together. With Nato’s combat mission ending in 2014, the region’s countries are being called on to help stabilise Afghanistan by joining forces to resolve regional problems such as extremism, drug-trafficking, poor coordination on economic issues and, most importantly, terrorism. Any cooperation, however, is bound to share the stage with long-time neighbourhood rivalries, the ongoing war in Afghanistan and a fragile effort to reach a peace accord with the Taliban. Opening the one-day conference, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the head of the government-appointed peace council would travel soon to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to seek their continued help in talking peace with the Taliban in hopes of ending decades of war. President Karzai said that successful peace discussions with the Taliban were one of the most important elements in attaining harmony in the region. The Afghan leader, who has pushed neighbouring Pakistan to do more to help further the peace process, thanked Saudi Arabia for its help in trying to find a political resolution to the war. “We also very much hope that our brothers and sisters in Pakistan will do same,” he said.—Agencies