David Cameron to meet Afghan and Pakistan leaders

Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture: PA
Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture: PA
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DAVID Cameron will meet the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan today as part of efforts to prevent a Taleban resurgence when British troops leave in 2014.

The Prime Minister will dine with Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at his Chequers residence this evening, before hosting the first in-depth discussion with them and their senior officials tomorrow.

It is the third trilateral talks session they have held since the summer. UK officials believe the 2014 deadline for ending combat operations by British and US troops has concentrated minds in Pakistan.

Foreign ministers, chiefs of army staff, chiefs of intelligence and the chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council are expected to attend, with discussions focusing on the peace process in the war-torn ­country.

A government spokeswoman said: “This trilateral process sends a very clear message to the Taleban – now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful political process in Afghanistan.”

US vice-president Joe Biden will also hold talks with Cameron during a visit to London this week.

Biden will attend a meeting of the National Security ­Council. The UK will be the final stop on his European tour, which includes visits to Paris and Berlin.

Biden and Cameron are expected to discuss the security situation in Africa and the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Union.

The visit comes shortly after US president Barack Obama raised concerns over Cameron’s plans to hold an in/out referendum on EU membership, telling the prime minister in a phone call that the US “values a strong UK in a strong European Union”.

Also likely to be on the agenda, are the security situation in north Africa, Iran’s nuclear programme and the uprising in Syria.

Biden will meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on his arrival in the UK on Tuesday, before having a working lunch with Cameron at 10 Downing Street, the US Embassy in London confirmed. He will fly back to Washington later that day.

Meanwhile, on Friday, a High Court judge said that prisoners captured by British troops in Afghanistan are not being subjected to one particular form of interrogation because of an “insufficient number of trained personnel”.
Mr Justice Collins said prisoners were not being subjected to a “challenging approach” when undergoing “tactical questioning”.

He was speaking in a High Court ruling on a challenge to the lawfulness of British military interrogation techniques.