‘Avoid The Hague during Afghan summit’

Commuters are being warned to use public transport to reach The Hague on Tuesday because of road closures in connection with the one-day UN summit on Afghanistan.

The left lane of the A4 motorway between Amsterdam and The Hague has been closed to allow guests arriving at Schiphol airport to reach the conference centre quickly.
The motoring organisation ANWB is warning of long delays and heavier traffic on other roads leading to the city.
In The Hague itself, roads have been closed to allow delegates from 72 countries, including Iran and the US, to make their way to the World Forum Convention centre. Some 3,500 police officers are on duty to keep away demonstrators.
Summit opening
The conference will be opened at 10.45 by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and Afghan president Karzai.
Both arrived in the country on Monday night. The UN chief told prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende that he hoped the summit would drive forward efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who first suggested the summit, also arrived in the Netherlands on Monday night. She told reporters she hoped that Iran would offer to help in terms of border security and combating the drugs trade. But Clinton she said she had no plans for a private meeting with her Iranian counterpart.
Richard Holbrooke, the US government’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said on Monday night that the summit could already be declared a success. ‘The world is showing that it has not forgotten Afghanistan,’ he said.
During the summit, Balkenende will also hold short, separate meetings with Clinton and the leaders of Pakistan, Japan and Russia, news agency ANP reports. Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen will hold bilaterals with ministers from Russia, Pakistan, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, ANP says.
For a BBC report on the aims of the summit, click here

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