Second Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan-Pakistan-United States in Washington, DC
On Wednesday, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan met with President Zardari of Pakistan and President Obama of the United States in Washington, DC, in the second summit of the trilateral contact group established in February. The Afghan and Pakistani presidents also met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Members of the Afghan and Pakistani delegations, including Ministers of Agriculture and intelligence professionals, met with their counterparts as well.
President Karzai arrived in Washington, DC on Monday for a four-day visit, and on Tuesday he spoke at the Brookings Institution, where he said that the fundamentals of the US-Afghanistan relationship are strong, despite reports of tension in the press. He spoke of the ambitions of Afghans to build a strong, stable country in partnership with the United States and other Western allies.
During Wednesday’s day-long summit, the Afghan delegation, which included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Agriculture and Finance, as well as the Director of National Intelligence, met and discussed issues of security, trade, agriculture, development and justice with their Pakistani and American counterparts, and attempted to find areas of cooperation. In an important step, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on trade-transit issues and agreed to discuss the issue further.
Much of the focus of the summit was on the shared threat from al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant extremist groups. President Obama, in his remarks after the trilateral meeting, said, “The security of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United States are linked.” President Karzai expressed his commitment to fighting this threat, and to working with the Americans to improve development and governance in Afghanistan.