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Pakistan committed to South Asia cooperation

Islamabad: Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to regional cooperation under the SAARC at the Meeting of SAARC Standing Committee held at Addu Atoll in the Maldives on 7 November 2011.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir represented Pakistan at this Meeting of SAARC States Foreign Secretaries, preparatory to the Summit.

Pakistan believes that SAARC must lead the way and act as a catalyst for South Asia’s socio economic transformation. The Foreign Secretary said that the economic potential of the region were enormous.

Asia, as a whole was surging ahead economically. South Asia must endeavour to become an important pillar for global economic growth.

It was important that differences and disputes that had held back regional cooperation must be resolved. The Conference theme of “Building Bridges” should help create amity, understanding and cooperation on the basis of enlightened self interest of the peoples of the region.

The Foreign Secretary said that the world was interested in SAARC. It saw the potential of the region. Pakistan supports greater interaction with extra regional states and organizations. SAARC should consider establishing dialogue partnership with interested states.

Pakistan welcomed China’s interest in an interactive partnership with SAARC. Pakistan suggested that moratorium on expansion of observers be lifted and supported Turkey’s request for becoming an observer.

Pakistan also supports the concept of regional energy cooperation and SAARC initiatives in enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation in agriculture, food security, poverty alleviation, climate change, trade and other areas.

Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Conference on 8 November.

Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India are also expected to meet on the margins of the Summit that begins on 10 November.

For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Personal Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604

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