According to media reports, the heads of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey are to meet in Ankara from December 11 to 12. The army chiefs of the three countries are also likely to meet. The purpose of the trilateral process is to develop a joint approach to the Afghan led reconciliation process. The Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey trilateral process was first launched in 2007. A whole array of bilateral and trilateral processes are presently underway, focused on finding a regional solution to Afghanistan. For example, another trilateral process exists between Afghanistan, India and US. In the past, some of these approaches were competing with each other.
However, according to the emerging approach, Afghanistan presented a model for reconciliation in November, in which it requested Pakistan’s help. Pakistan has on the other hand, offered to facilitate the Afghan championed road model to the intra-Afghan dialogue, which appears to be chaperoned by NATO powers. Ultimately, the regional political solution will smooth the way for a limited NATO and US military withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014.
Turkey has a unique role to play because it’s not only a member of NATO, but it also maintains troops in Afghanistan. Although, Turkish troops are not involved in combat operations. Secondly, Turkey also carries cultural and political influence in Afghanistan with ethnic Tajik and Uzbek groups. Thirdly, the country has good ties with Pakistan.
Turkey has emerged as a key interlocutor to conflicts in the Islamic world. It recently played an active role in establishing a truce in Gaza, where some analysts believe it was competing with Egypt, Qatar, and Iran. Like China, Pakistan’s political leaders have become regular visitors to Turkey. Pakistan and Turkey are also working to enhance economic cooperation between the tow countries.