Afghanistan Conference in Paris Ends on Positive Note

PARIS, December 16 (The Peninsula)

Participants at an international conference on peace and security in Afghanistan described the outcome as positive. While no resolutions were expected, Afghanistan and its neighbours pledged to work closely on security issues, increase border security and combat drug smuggling, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.

According to German diplomats, the goal of the conference was to strengthen regional ties, which are necessary to bring peace to Afghanistan.

The closed-door meeting was attended by representatives from Afghanistan’s neighbours — India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan — as well as top European Union officials, including EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

“I am very happy to say that all of us have a common position,” Afghanistan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta said after a dinner for the participants on Sunday night.

Kai Eide, the United Nations secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, described the outcome of the informal meeting as “very positive.”

All the participants agreed that only security and long-term peace in the region could lead to a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan.