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Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight nations issued a joint statement on Afghanistan on Thursday, pledging to increase aid and reform activities in areas near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which have seen surging violence by terrorist groups.

The statement, which proposed measures including the creation of a new body to coordinate the activities of G-8 nations in the area, was formally adopted at a working dinner at Kyoto State Guest House on Thursday evening, which officially launched the two-day G-8 foreign ministers meeting.

Areas near the border, including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), are known to be active centres for international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

A number of suicide bombings and abductions of foreigners organised by such groups have taken place in the region.

The ministers concluded a new G-8 coordinating body should be established to combat terrorism in communities "where narcotics trafficking and extremism are endemic", the statement said.

The ministers also endorsed more than 150 projects currently planned or implemented in the region by G-8 countries, worth about US$4 billion in total, while calling for Afghanistan's neighbouring countries to play key roles in calming conditions in the war-torn country.

The eight-item statement also addressed issues such as the G-8 countries' intention to accelerate assistance to the Afghan National Army and police force, and to step up counter-narcotics measures.

The statement also expressed support for the Afghan government's efforts toward implementing a five-year development plan known as the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, and reforming its political and economic structures in order to fight corruption.

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