Netherlands may organise Afghan summit

The Netherlands has been asked by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to organise an international summit on the security of Afghanisan, Trouw reports on Friday.

Speaking in Brussels, Clinton said the conference should be sponsored by the United Nations and attended by a wide range of countries including Pakistan and possibly Iran, reports AP news agency
Trouw said Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen reacted positively to the request, which could be seen as a consquence of the Netherlands role in Afghanistan. Holland has 1,700 troops in the southern province of Uruzgan.
However ‘it remains to be seen if we can organise this in such a short space of time,’ Trouw reported Verhagen as saying. AP says a tentative date for the conference is March 31.
NATO’s Dutch secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the proposed conference could be seen as a ‘big tent meeting’ that would include a wide range of parties with an interest in stabilising Afghanistan and preventing it from again serving as a haven for al-Qaida, AP reported.

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