Karzai and Zardari in talks with Turkey's Gul in Istanbul
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has welcomed his Pakistan and Afghanistan counterparts to Istanbul for a tri-lateral summit aimed at reducing tension in the region amid increased attacks by the Taliban.
The meeting is the first between the two neighbours since the assassination of the former Afghan leader and peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani on 20 September.
Kabul has accused Istanbul of refusing to cooperate in the investigation of the murder, which Afghan authorities say was planned in Pakistan and carried out by a Pakistani suicide bomber.
Gul held talks separate talks with Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Asif Zardari of Pakistan before the three-way talks later on Tuesday.
The three presidents are expected to sign two agreements on security and cooperation including a military one.
The meeting comes ahead of an international conference on Wednesday in Istanbul on the theme of ‘Security and Cooperation in the heart of Asia’ which is expected to attract delegates from twenty countries and organizations.
The United States, which provides more than two-thirds of the total of 140,000 foreign troops currently in Afghanistan will be represented by the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman.
The meeting comes just days after 17 people died in the deadliest attack yet in Kabul against the US-led Nato mission, including 10 Americans and a US-run base in Kandahar was targeted.
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