Afghanistan and most of its neighbors agreed at an informal conference in Paris on Dec. 14 to work together to stabilize the country, restrict narcotics traffic and coordinate action against terrorist groups. "There is a consensus that there can be no peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan without the strong involvement of its neighbors," the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said after the meeting. "And there can be no peace, security and prosperity for the region without a stable Afghanistan." But the notable absence of Iran left a gaping hole in French hopes for the meeting. (NY Times)

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