Pakistan will host Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Islamabad on Monday, which would be attended among others by Afghanistan deputy foreign minister, a statement from the Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.
The meeting, the statement said would be co-chaired by Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan and Hekmat Khalil Karzai, deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan.
It said that representatives from other 12 participating countries, 16 supporting countries and 12 regional and international organizations have been invited to attend the meeting.
The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was launched in 2011 to bring together regional countries to promote peace and prosperity in Afghanistan through concerted efforts of participating and supporting countries as well as international and regional organizations engaged in the process.
Pakistan, it said was the co-chair for 2015 with Afghanistan (permanent co-chair). It would host the fifth Ministerial Conference at Islamabad later this year.
As the co-chair, Pakistan will take initiatives to take the process forward from the Beijing Conference held in October 2014. It will play a lead role in various activities of the process, including three Senior Officials Meetings to discuss topics pertaining to the theme of this year’s Ministerial Conference, including Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Economic Connectivity.
The statement said that deliberations in these Senior Officials meetings would form the basis for the Islamabad Declaration, to be endorsed by Heart of Asia countries and organizations during the Ministerial Conference.