KABUL, June 14 (Xinhua) -- An international conference opened here Thursday morning with an aim to figure out ways to stabilize Afghanistan and chart out the future of the war-torn country after NATO-led foreign troops pull out in 2014.
In his opening speech, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that closer cooperation among the regional countries is needed as his country is in a critical period of transition. He hoped the following talks would bring tangible development to bring peace, harmony and sustainability to Afghanistan and the region.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, in a recorded message to the conference, said that Afghanistan and its neighbors need to work together to push forward the Istanbul Process.
Special efforts should turn to women and children in Afghanistan, particularly in girls' education and women's participation in politics, the UN chief said.
Representatives, mostly foreign ministers from 30 countries, took part in the one-day talks which follow up discussions at the Istanbul conference last November.
The meeting brought together delegates from international organizations such as NATO, the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the United Nations.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, who led a delegation, attended the conference. In a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday, Fu said that China supports Afghanistan in strengthening ties with countries in the region, and is ready to work with relevant countries to make contributions to the peace, stability and development of Afghanistan and the region.
UN special envoy Jan Kubis, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar are among the participants of the talks on security transfer and peace process in Afghanistan as well as regional strategies to combat terrorism and drug trafficking.
In November 2011, Afghanistan's neighbors and near-neighbors gathered in Turkey and reached an agreement known as Istanbul Process, presenting a new vision for regional cooperation and promoting a stronger and sustainable economic future.
CHICAGO, May 22 (Xinhua) -- NATO leaders reached consensus at a summit here on closely-watched issues such as missile shield capabilities and military operations in Afghanistan.
However, these are just meager results, with few alliance members willing to come forward with pledges of financial support in this regard, as they are hard-pressed by austerity measures at home, observers said.Full story