Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday pledged to have a peace deal in place within six months following talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron here aimed at ensuring regional stability after the withdrawal of western troops from Afghanistan next year.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai promised to “take all necessary measures” to achieve peace in the region.

Mr. Cameron said the two sides agreed to “an unprecedented level of cooperation.” The talks centred on the Afghan-led peace process and strengthening of cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“All sides agreed on the urgency of this work and committed themselves to take all necessary measures to achieve the goal of a peace settlement over the next six months,” said a joint statement issued after the talks.

They “reaffirmed their commitments” to signing a Strategic Partnership Agreement and urged the Taliban “to enter into dialogue” with the Afghan government.

Mr. Zardari said that Pakistan wanted to help Kabul in peace talks with the Taliban.

“We could change our friends, but not neighbours,’’ he said.

It was the third round of trilateral talks in less than a year but it was the first time that military leaders and intelligence chiefs of the two countries were also present.

Earlier, in a newspaper interview, Mr. Karzai accused outsiders — an allusion to Pakistan and the West — of “meddling” in his country’s affairs.

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