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Tripartite Summit to Discuss Regional Peace

ISLAMABAD, April 19 (Baqir Sajjad Syed Dawn): Pakistan and Turkey agreed on Saturday to hold the second tripartite summit of Pakistani, Afghan and Turkish leaders in June to discuss peace and stability in the region.

"Turkey has once again expressed the desire to hold a summit to further discuss and strengthen inputs for peace and stability in the region," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said at a press briefing along with his Turkish counterpart at the Foreign Office.

"Turkey is ready to have these meetings, realising the willingness on the part of both countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan)," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

The tripartite mechanism was established last year to provide for an exchange of views on Afghanistan-Pakistan ties and their repercussions for the region. It was aimed at promoting regional stability and security.

Last year's summit had led to a joint strategy by Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mr Qureshi said Pakistan and Turkey agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan was in "our mutual interest.”

The two foreign ministers agreed to hold a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of the three countries in May. The group was set up during last year's summit with a view to monitoring progress on measures worked out at the meeting.

The JWG has already held two rounds of talks.