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Ankara Declaration a Step Forward in Regional Relations

President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Gen. Pervez Musharraf met in Ankara Turkey on April 30 for a summit on improving regional relations hosted by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The two leaders agreed to increase co-operation against terrorism and narcotics smuggling and promised better intelligence sharing between the two countries. "This meeting will help us create a climate of trust between Afghanistan and Pakistan," said President Karzai before his arrival in Turkey.

A joint statement titled the Ankara Declaration stated that the two presidentsagreed to deny sanctuary, training and financing to terrorists and to elements involved in subversive and anti-state activities in each other's country. The statement affirmed that both sides would work to strengthen bilateral relations on the basis of good neighborliness, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in each others' internal affairs. Both leaders said they would work for an "orderly repatriation" of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.

A joint working group, incorporating Turkey, will be set up to monitor progress on the measures.

The full statement follows below:


His Excellency General Pervez Musharraf, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and His Excellency Hamid Karzai, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, visited Ankara on 29-30 April 2007 at the invitation of His Excellency Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the President of the Republic of Turkey.

President General Pervez Musharraf and President Hamid Karzai held comprehensive, cordial and useful talks, together with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on regional and international issues. They emphasized that the international community must work together to promote the objectives of Afghanistan Compact. They pledged to cooperate towards promoting peace, security, stability and economic development in the region.

During the talks, the Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to continue to have dialogue and cooperation in all dimensions between the two brotherly countries and to combine their efforts to enhance prosperity of their peoples.

The two Presidents:

Agreed that their historical ties serve as a common basis to address all challenges hampering the stability, security and the development of their region and to enhance their cooperation, building upon the "Joint Press Statement" of 07 September 2006 issued during President Musharraf's visit to Kabul.

Agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations on the basis of good-neighborliness, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. Acknowledging the great opportunity that exists for progress and economic development in the region, they pledged to work together to improve and strengthen the climate of trust and cooperation.

Agreed that extremism and terrorism are a common threat to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, as it is a danger to the region. They reiterated their commitment to continue supporting moderation, fighting all forms of extremism and terrorism through coordinated action. They 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.

Agreed to deny sanctuary, 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.

Reaffirmed their commitment to enhance goodwill and create further confidence building measures and mechanisms, including through interaction between political representatives, civil society, academicians, media, and sports and cultural links.

Resolved to work jointly for facilitating orderly repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.

With a view to monitoring progress on the above agreed matters and coordinating the confidence-building measures and mechanisms, the Presidents established a “Joint Working Group (JWG)” with the participation of high level representatives of the three countries.

President Karzai expressed the gratitude of the people of Afghanistan to the people of Pakistan for continuing to host millions of Afghan refugees. He also appreciated Pakistan's offer to host the next meeting of Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA).

The Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan commended the initiative of Turkey for hosting the summit meeting and appreciated the offer to organize further meetings towards the end of 2007 or early 2008.


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