Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran have pledged to cooperate on security at a summit called against the backdrop of an intensifying battle with the Taliban.
In their first such meeting the presidents of the three countries agreed on a joint approach to tackling terrorism and drug trafficking, but no specific measures were announced. Although US/Iranian relations have been improving, and the summit had Washington’s backing, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed regional instability on Western interference. He said the US-led NATO war in Afghanistan had caused more problems than it had solved. While the conflict with the Taliban remains intense in Afghanistan it has also escalated in Pakistan, where government troops are trying crush an insurgency in the Swat valley. The Pakistani government says it is winning the battle but the civilian population is paying a high price with some two million people reported to have been displaced by the fighting.