KABUL and Iran have been delayed for a third time, officials said on Saturday.
Slated for January 18-19 in Islamabad, the two-day talks were pushed back to February 18-19 as a result of a recent sit-in by a Pakistani cleric.
An Afghan official in the Pakistani capital said: “Now new dates of Feb.10-11 have been proposed for the three-way meeting.” The rescheduling was also verified by an Iranian envoy.
At their meeting, commerce ministers from the three countries will discuss ways of boosting economic cooperation and the region’s development.
Both commerce and foreign ministries in Islamabad had formally informed Afghan and Iranian governments about the delay, the official said.
At their summit in Islamabad in February last, presidents of the three countries asked their commerce ministers to prioritise socio-economic development cooperation.
A review of proposals for expanding transit trade, encouraging private-sector investment and preferential tariffs are on the agenda of the meeting.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s commerce ministry spokesman Wahidullah Ghazikhel told Pajhwok Afghan News that Commerce Minister Anwarul Haq Ahady had also been invited to the talks.
Ghazikhel too linked the postponement to the Tahirul Qadri-led long march on Islamabad. However, he had no idea about the fresh dates for the meeting.
X�i 0wR��QContingency Operations (OCO) funds as a result of the reduction in the size of the US force should help make this action affordable.”
In their letter, Levin and Reed said they were impressed with the progress that had been made just in the short time since their last visit to Afghanistan in May 2012. The transition strategy was working well, they noted.