‘Heart of Asia’ Conference Kicks Off in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD (Tasnim) – The “Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process” ministerial meeting got underway in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Wednesday morning.
The 5th ministerial meeting of the conference, which has brought together representatives from 43 member and supporting countries as well as 10 regional and international organizations, began with the keynote address delivered by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also addressed the gathering.
The top Iranian diplomat arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday and held separate meetings with his counterparts from Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Founded in 2011, the Istanbul Process provides an agenda for regional cooperation in the ‘heart of Asia’ by placing Afghanistan at its center and engaging the regional countries in sincere cooperation for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, as well as a secure and prosperous region as a whole, according to its official website.
The 14 members of the body include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates.
There are also 17 countries and 11 international organizations ‘supporting’ the Istanbul process, including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).