ISLAMABAD: An integrated region leads to an environment where diversities can be channelled into collective strength.
This was stated by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during a seminar on “Pakistan Relations with Central Asian Republics (CARs) and Azerbaijan: Prospects and Challenges.”
The seminar had been organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in collaboration with the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS) to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan, CARs and Azerbaijan.
Apart from the foreign secretary, the Azerbaijan Ambassador Ali Alizada, representative of the Kazakhstan ambassador Darkhan Nursadykov, Kyrgyzstan Ambassador Erik Beishembiev, Turkmenistan Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov, Uzbekistan Ambassador Furqat Sadikov addressed the seminar.
“Leadership from Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics are moving together to work closely to form a cohesive partnership for the rest of the world to gain experience from,” she said.
While referring to the success of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) summit held in the capital in March, the foreign secretary said that the “Islamabad Declaration” had been adopted unanimously at the summit. With reference to the energy shortfall in Pakistan, she thanked the CARs for their increased cooperation in this sector, adding that only families share within the family.
Janjua went on to highlight the efforts being made for regional connectivity including a number of time-bound mega projects, which were already in the implementation stage.
Terming Pakistan and Azerbaijan’s relations as time-tested, Alizada acknowledged that Pakistan was one of the first countries which recognised the independence of Azerbaijan and condemned the Armenian aggression.
On the other hand, Beishembiev said that though the full bilateral trade potential between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan had yet to be reached, there had been a noticeable revival in regional cooperation between the two countries as proven by the active participation in this year’s ECO Summit.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2017.
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