Islamabad: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar hosted an interactive dinner yesterday, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the resident Heads of Mission at ASEAN countries, in Islamabad. The dinner was attended by Heads of Mission of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Myanmar and officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Minister stated that Pakistan enjoyed close, friendly and cooperative relations with all member countries of ASEAN. She underscored that the region was strategic to Pakistan’s economic and political interests.
Pakistan was a long standing and the only Sectoral Dialogue Partner, of ASEAN, since 1997. Pakistan’s track record, as SDP, included noteworthy achievements and the stage was set for Pakistan to become a full Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.
Pakistan was a pro-active member of Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Pakistan had taken initiative and formed a National ARF Unit to fortify ARF functioning. Since 1999 Pakistan had held five meeting of ASEAN Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee and was keen to negotiate a free Trade Agreement with the region for which a successful Feasibility Study had already been completed. Pakistan was also a signatory to Treaty of Amity and Cooperation as well as a Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism, with ASEAN.
ASEAN Heads of Mission, while responding to the remarks of the Minister of State, expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s commitment to enhance interaction with ASEAN. They expressed hope that, mutually beneficial collaboration on the above lines, with ASEAN, would enable Pakistan to attain consensus, for Full Dialogue Partner status, at the earliest.
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