Heart of Asia Conference: Pakistan wants durable peace in Afghanistan, says Sartaj Aziz

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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz says Pakistan wants durable peace in Afghanistan as instability there is not in the interest of Pakistan.

While addressing the senior officials meeting prior to Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz said the multilateral conference is an effective platform for promoting regional cooperation and connectivity. He said it provides an opportunity to member countries for result-oriented engagements for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He said there is a need to enhance regional cooperation in counter terrorism, anti-narcotics efforts, disaster management, infrastructure and education through confidence building measures.

“Terrorism continues to be a major threat to global and regional peace. During last few years, Pakistan has suffered huge human and economic losses due to this menace. Our resolute struggle against terrorism is now bringing the fruit of peace and prosperity to our people. In our view, closer regional cooperation can play an effective role in eliminating the scourge of terrorism,” he said.

Sartaj Aziz said security challenges are hampering our socio-economic development and there is a need to meeting the challenges facing the region by strengthening cooperation.

Meanwhile, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister speaking on the occasion stressed the need for united and collective efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremism. He said Afghanistan is determined to continue fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

He said peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of the region.

OBJECTIVE OF THE CONFERENCE

Pakistan will be hosting the Fifth Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015. The Conference will be preceded by Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on December 8, 2015.

High-ranking delegations from 14 Participating States, 17 Supporting Countries and 12 International and Regional Organizations are participating in the conference while foreign ministers from ten countries have confirmed participation in the Conference.

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was established in 2011 at the initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey. The main objective of the Process is to foster efforts for regional cooperation and connectivity with a view to promoting long-term peace and stability as well as progress and development in Afghanistan, and the region.

The Fifth Ministerial Conference is expected to adopt a forward looking Islamabad Declaration entitled “Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region”. The Declaration would underline commitments from the Heart of Asia countries and partners for sustained efforts towards promoting peace and security, economic development and connectivity in the region.

2015-12-08

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