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Foreign Minister Attends Regional Meeting in France

Foreign Minister Dr. Rangin D. Spanta attended an informal gathering of regional leaders in Paris on December 14, where Afghanistan and its neighbors discussed cooperation on security issues. The meeting, which was hosted by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, included representatives from China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, the European Union and the United Nations.

"There is a consensus that there can be no peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan without the strong involvement of its neighbors," said Mr. Kouchner after the meeting. "And there can be no peace, security and prosperity for the region without a stable Afghanistan."

Afghanistan has long pressed for increased regional cooperation to fight terrorism, and has in recent months developed a closer working relationship with the civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari in Pakistan. President Hamid Karzai and President Zardari recently met in Turkey, while Foreign Minister Spanta and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met in late October to discuss issues of bilateral concern.

More Resources: Full Text of Declaration of Informal Ministerial Meeting

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