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Afghan president Ashraf Ghani not to attend ECO summit


ISLAMABAD, FEB 25, (DNA) – President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani will not attend the ECO summit. Even the Afghan government has not nominated anybody sofar to attend the Summit to be held in Islamabad on March 01.

Foreign office sources told DNA that Afghan government has conveyed the decision to the Pakistan government that Ashraf Ghani shall not be able to attend the summit.

When asked, the foreign office sources said even nobody has so far been nominated by the Afghan government for the summit meeting.

Meanwhile  briefing the media persons in Islamabad on Saturday, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that most of the member states have already confirmed participation at Heads of State or Heads of Government level.

The summit would be preceded by the two days senior officials’ Meeting from Sunday and Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Tuesday.

Sartaj Aziz said the theme of ECO Summit is “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity”.The Summit will deliberate and decide on ways and means to augment cooperation in the areas of connectivity, trade, energy, tourism, investment, industry, economic growth, productivity, social welfare and environment.

He said high level participation of the member states will greatly enhance the vitality and substance of the Summit.

He said ECO Observers and special guests have also been invited to attend the Summit.

Replying to a question, he said the summit will send a very positive message to the world.

The Advisor said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an excellent example of the summit’s theme of connectivity and this project will connect with the existing and the planned transit and energy corridors in the ECO region for greater progress.

To another question, Sartaj said our importance and strategic role in Muslim countries is still vitally significant and we will continue to participate in the proceedings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

He said the summit will adopt ECO Vision 2025 that lays tangible goals for ECO

The Advisor said after completion of CPEC and linkage of other corridors in the region,the objectives of bilateral trade, development and prosperity would start bearing fruits.

Talking to a Chinese delegation led by  Ambassador Lu Shumin in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz said the strategic cooperative relationship between Pakistan and China  is an anchor for regional peace and stability.

He said Pakistan adheres to One China Policy and supports China on all issues relating to its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity encompassing Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong.=DNA


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