Afghanistan: Cameron to Hold Talks with Karzai and Zardari

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By Vasudevan Sridharan | February 3, 2013 5:43 PM EST

David Cameron greets Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai at the prime minister's country residence of Chequers, in Ellesborough west of London in this 28 January, 2012 file photo - Reuters

David Cameron is to hold key talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at his official country residence Chequers.

The trilateral summit is expected to revolve around maintaining stability in the region following the departure of Nato troops from war-torn Afghanistan in 2014. Taliban insurgence has been a huge cause of concern for both the countries.

The summit will also be attended by army and intelligence chiefs from both the countries for the first time. The process was initiated by Cameron last year bringing Zardari and Karzai together.

This will be the third such trilateral talks among the leaders. They previously met in the Afghan capital Kabul in July and then in New York in September last year.

"This trilateral process sends a very clear message to the Taliban: now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful political process in Afghanistan. As the prime minister has set out previously, a stable Afghanistan is not just in the interests of Afghans, but also in the interests of their neighbours and the UK," said Downing Street.

The discussions are likely to provide some help in improving the situation in the south Asian countries although they may not offer any breakthrough.

The Downing Street statement added that the talks are "expected to focus on the Afghan-led peace process and how the Pakistanis and international community can support it. We also expect the Afghans and Pakistanis to make further progress on the Strategic Partnership Agreement they committed to in September".

Following the dinner on Sunday, Cameron will hold extensive talks with the leaders and officials during the two-day summit.

The Afghan president has already arrived in London. Ahead of his visit, Karzai's office said: "The talks in this summit will be focused on ways to accelerate peace process in Afghanistan and further strengthen cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and extremism."

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