By CNN's Ivan Watson reporting from Istanbul, Turkey
With the help of Turkish mediation, Pakistani and Afghan leaders signed a series of agreements Tuesday aimed at mending relations which almost collapsed after last September's assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul.
At a joint press conference where he sat flanked by his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, Turkish president Abdullah Gul announced that both Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to open a "cooperation mechanism" between their intelligence agencies to investigate the murder, which Afghan officials initially blamed on Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence.
"There was almost an end of negotiations between us," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said, in reference to the suicide bombing that killed Rabbani. "So on that what happened today in Turkey has been a significant move. I hope the mechanism for pursuing the death of Rabbani will lead us to more fruitful and intense talks."
In public, the three presidents appeared relaxed and friendly when Gul led them down the marble stairs of an Ottoman palace to a waiting Mercedes.
But behind closed doors, the opening to some of the discussions were strained and tense, said one Turkish diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.
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