The advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz chaired a high-level meeting of senior officials ahead of the Afghanistan focused ‘Heart of Asia Conference’ in Islamabad earlier yesterday.
Addressing the senior officials, Sartaj Aziz said, “Pakistan wants durable peace in Afghanistan.”
He said Heart of Asia Conference is an effective platform for promoting regional cooperation and connectivity.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was established in 2011 on 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”.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will formally inaugurate the conference tomorrow (Wednesday).
It would be the first occasion when the foreign ministers of all the four neighbouring countries of Pakistan — China, Iran, India and Afghanistan — will be present in Islamabad and attending an international huddle.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be the first to arrive here on Tuesday followed by Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, India’s Minister for External Affairs Ms Sushma Swaraj and Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif.
The Iranian foreign minister will be visiting Islamabad for the third time in about four months while the Chinese foreign minister is visiting Islamabad for the second time this year.