Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed a high-level international conference on Afghanistan, which would be sponsored by the United Nations and would seek to arrive at a “common set of principles, perhaps embodied in a chairman’s statement, on a common way forward.”
Then, having proposed the meeting, Secretary Clinton urged the inclusion of the Iranian government, being a neighbor to Afghanistan. The proposal is the first significant, specific overture by an Obama Administration official to the Iranian government and comes in spite of recent claims by Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Iran had been interfering in the occupation of Afghanistan.
Clinton revealed that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had already been asked to open the conference, and that UN representative to Afghanistan Kai Eide would chair it. The Dutch Foreign Minister said that the Netherlands had been asked to host the event.