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Tripartite Commission Meets in Islamabad

American Forces Press Service

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 24, 2005 – The Tripartite Commission, comprised of senior military and diplomatic representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States, held its 12th meeting in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, today.

This meeting was the first in which Afghanistan and Pakistan were represented by four-star generals, according to a release from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan. Delegates included Gen. Bismullah Khan, chief of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army; Gen. Ahsan Saleem Hyat, vice-chief of the Army Staff of the Pakistani army; and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.

The session began with a series of briefings focused on enhancing regional stability and furthering security measures taken by Afghanistan, Pakistan and the coalition in advance of the Afghan National Assembly and Provincial Council Elections scheduled for Sept. 18, the release stated. The parties noted recent improvements in cooperation and information sharing and reaffirmed their commitment to enduring operations against al Qaeda and associated militants.

During the plenary session, the parties agreed that the participation of the senior Afghan and Pakistani generals "signified an important step toward enhancing strategic dialogue and understanding" between the two countries, the release stated.

The delegates examined ways to deepen their level of military-to-military cooperation in the interest of long-term regional stability. All parties noted the significance of the first bilateral Afghan-Pakistani staff exchanges, which took place July 14 in Kabul, Afghanistan and Aug. 9 in Islamabad.

This plenary session was also significant in that representatives of the International Security Assistance Force, NATO's mission in Afghanistan, attended the session as observers. All parties said they welcomed the ISAF observers and look forward to their participation in future meetings given ISAF's expanding role in Afghanistan, the release stated.

The Tripartite Commission will meet again in October 2005.

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Combined Forces Command Afghanistan

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