Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday promised to work together to defeat the "common threat" in their countries as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for an "all government effort" to bring peace to the region.
"We all have a responsibility along with two governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to restore the peace in their respective countries," Clinton said as she opened three-way talks with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Bringing peace to the region required an "all government effort" that went well beyond military support, she said.
Zardari in turn promised to aid Afghanistan and the US in battling the threat of terrorism posed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban. "Our threat is common and our responsibilities should be shared. I am here to assure that we should share this burden with you," he said.
Karzai thanked Clinton for "showing concern and regret" for the loss of innocent life apparently as the result of a US bombing in Afghanistan and said "we hope we can work together to completely reduce civilian casualties in the struggle against terrorism."
Clinton said the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan had agreed to start talks on a trade and transit agreement aimed at increasing commerce and foreign investment in the two countries.
The pact to be completed by the year's end is "an important milestone in their efforts to generate foreign investment, stronger economic growth and trade opportunities", she said.
The three-way meeting came ahead of a White House summit involving President Barack Obama, Zardari and Karzai.