Islamabad, April 26, 2013 (PPI-OT): The third “Heart of Asia” Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process was held on 26 April 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, inaugurated the Conference, which was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Erlan Idrissov.
Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani led the Pakistan delegation. Speaking on the occasion he conveyed his deep appreciation and thanks to the Government of Kazakhstan for hosting this Ministerial Conference. He underlined that several developments have taken place since the last Ministerial in Kabul in June, 2012.
The Foreign Secretary said that six clusters of CBMs that have been identified are now ready for implementation. He said this was a manifestation of result oriented cooperation to promote security and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region.
The Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan attaches great importance to the Heart of Asia Initiative. He said this is the reason that we have joined all the six Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) under this process.
Pakistan together with Kazakhstan has a lead role in Disaster Management CBM. He reported to the Ministerial Conference about the draft implementation plan of the Disaster Management CBM, prepared jointly with Kazakhstan. The CBM was later adopted by the Ministerial Conference along with other CBMs.
The Foreign Secretary said Pakistan has continuously endeavoured to raise the profile of its relations with Afghanistan, at both bilateral and multilateral forums. A peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is in our vital national interest, he said.
The Foreign Secretary reiterated that Pakistan is committed to provide its fullest cooperation to Afghanistan to help it steer through the transition period and beyond.
The Foreign Secretary hoped that the CBMs adopted during the Almaty Ministerial Conference would strengthen concrete cooperation in various fields among the members of the Heart of Asia Process.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan