Ghani for Pakistan-Afghanistan collaboration on development projects

Still, despite the delays and setbacks, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that "it's important today that the global community sends a strong message of support".

Mr Kerry urged the Taleban to follow the example of notorious Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and make an "honourable" peace with the Kabul government to end years of violence.

The agreement is the most specific effort yet by Europe to divert or reverse a wave of hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries, including Afghanistan and Syria.

Pakistan on Wednesday made a pledge of 500 million U.S. dollars for economic development projects in Afghanistan at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry said.

Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah delivers a speech during a Conference on Afghanistan in Brussels, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Both are considering lifting sanctions.

Violence has continued with Afghan forces fighting Taliban militants in the flashpoint city of Kunduz this week while a USA soldier was killed in a bomb blast during operations against Islamic State militants in the east on Tuesday.

Facing a resurgent Taliban 15 years after USA forces helped drive the militant group from Kabul, more than 70 governments in Brussels promised more financial support, in tandem with NATO's ongoing military backing.

"There is a path forward towards an honourable end to the conflict that the Taliban have waged - it is a conflict that can not and will not be won on the battlefield".

"The Taliban and their allies can not wait us out". "It is a conflict they can not and will not be won on the battlefield".

The United States has been promoting reconciliation as part of its strategy to remove American troops from Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar had lived for the last two decades in exile.

"Our achievements are many and Afghanistan is advancing on a positive trajectory", Rabbani said.

Years of insecurity and conflict since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 have left the country in tatters. The U.S. -led intervention after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks sent billions of dollars into the country, creating a false economy with double-digit growth.

The conference follows up from a meeting in Tokyo in 2012 where the worldwide community agreed to provide four billion euros a year in funding until the end of 2016. The economy tumbled as troops drew down in 2014 and many aid workers and worldwide agencies departed or scaled back operations. Deteriorating security deters foreign investment in key fields such as mining and infrastructure, and drives the country's youth onto the migrant trail to Europe in search of opportunities.



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