Pakistan, Afghanistan top priority for G-8 leaders

Pakistan, Afghanistan top priority for G-8 leaders

Pakistan, Afghanistan top priority for G-8 leaders


Heads of state, (L to R, front row) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, (L to R, back row) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso pose for a family photo at G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy on Thursday. AFPThe G-8 Declaration on Counter-Terrorism, adopted after a summit of leaders, including US President Barack Obama, in this mountain town, said terrorism continued to represent one of the greatest challenges to international peace, stability and security.

"We reiterate, in the strongest terms, our firm condemnation of this phenomenon in all its forms and manifestations. All acts of terrorism - by whomever committed - are criminal, inhumane and unjustifiable, regardless of motivation, especially when they indiscriminately target and injure civilians," it said.

In particular, the G-8 declaration said suicide bombings and recruiting of the young or disadvantaged to carry out such acts as well as abductions and the taking of hostages were repugnant practices

"We remain convinced that terrorism can be effectively defeated only through multifaceted, collective and coordinated efforts particularly in the fields of information-sharing and capacity-building -- which shall include both short-term provisions and long-term policies," the leaders of the world's eight most industrialised countries said.

In this respect, the declaration said, a central role must be accorded to the universal consensus on counter- terrorism.

The G-8 nations renewed their call for countries to join and fully implement all universal counter-terrorism conventions and protocols.

In their resolution on 'Political Issues', the highly developed countries said Afghanistan and Pakistan remained a top priority for them as both were presented with grave challenges to their security and stability, driven in large measure by the threat from violent extremists and terrorists.

They noted the threat was sustained by narcotics trafficking, poverty and uneven economic development.

"We reaffirm our commitment to promoting stability and development in both countries and the wider region, also by strengthening their capacity to counter terrorism, illicit trafficking and crime," the declaration said.

The declaration welcomed strengthened regional cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan which the leaders felt was a pre-requisite for success in both countries and was an essential pillar of the international strategy for stability in Afghanistan.

The G-8 leaders said they stood with Pakistan in its fight against terrorists and violent extremists.

"We commit to working closely with Pakistan, the UN and humanitarian agencies to support a comprehensive strategy for providing relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance to civilian populations displaced by the fighting, as well as to work with the government of Pakistan in fostering economic and social development and enhancing governance," they said.

The declaration on Non-Proliferation said universalisation and reinforcement of the non-proliferation regime remains an urgent priority.

"We call upon all states still not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) to accede without delay," it said.

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