Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan and host United Arab Emirates (UAE) along with representatives of 40 countries, the European Union and the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, held a major brainstorming session in Abu Dhabi.

The special envoy of the United States to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke also participated in the deliberations. The conference took place ahead of a major international conference, scheduled in London at the month-end. That would be followed by another high-level meeting in Kabul in April.

Speaking to the media, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Rangin Dadfar Spanta said the focus of the discussions on Tuesday was economic and social development of Afghanistan within the framework of regional cooperation. Discussions were also held on the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghans within a time-bound framework.

Other issues that were discussed included ways to improve coordination among countries to make a collective counter-terrorism effort more effective. Enhancement of humanitarian assistance of Pakistan, as well as consolidation of democratic institutions in Afghanistan, also emerged prominently on the agenda of the talks.

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