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Hotline set up to foster Afghan, Pakistan dialogue

11 December, 2012

ANKARA: A hotline has been established to facilitate communication among the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in times of crisis, a Turkish official said on Monday.

"The hotline has been operational since Sunday," the official said on condition of anonymity but noted that the presidents have not used it yet.

"It is designed to help communication among the three capitals in times of crisis," the official added.

The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan are due to hold talks in Turkey on Tuesday and Wednesday in a bid to resolve a row after Kabul claimed an attack against its spy chief was planned in Pakistan.

The assassination attempt on National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief Asadullah Khalid was carried out on Thursday by an attacker who claimed to be a Taliban peace envoy but had a bomb hidden in his underwear.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai did not directly blame Pakistan for the attack but said the Taliban alone would not have been able to carry out the bombing and that "bigger hands were involved".

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry rejected the claim and said it was ready to help investigate what it called a criminal act.

End.

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