Monday, May 25, 2009

First trilater meeting Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan on Insurgency

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met in Tehran on May 24 with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari to discuss regional cooperation, with a special focus on growing insurgency in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Firstly scheduled on the 19th of May, the event was postponed to last sunday due to heavy work by President Zardari.
This summit gained particular significance as it was the first trilater meeting focused on regional security Iran hosted in the recent times, in an attempt to emerge as a regional player, to counterbalance its Sunni Rival, Saudi Arabia, and to gain levers with United States over Iraq. Reconciliation with United States, indeed, is undergoing but gridlock persists. (2009 is an election year in Iran.)
Moreover, the importance of the Summit lays in the evidence that a political settlement to the Taliban Insurgency needs some sort of consensus involving Pakistan and Iran which both owns much of the country stability. Karzai is the most seriously concerned of the three as proven by his recent manouver to reach out to Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar. The Taliban Insurgency worries not only Afghanistan but Pakistan and Iran as well. Radicalization of tribes along the Durand line can poses a critical threat to Pakistani national security. Iran influence over its Eastern flank could be diminished by a more powerful and united insurgency movement.
During the meeting, drug smugling, economic and energy cooperation have been discussed as well.

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