Inaugural Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the New Silk Road vision
Islamabad: The Foreign Minister, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar participated in the inaugural Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the New Silk Road vision on the margins of the 66th UNGA in New York on Thursday, says a press release received here today from New York.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasool and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle co-chaired the Ministerial meeting to explore ways and means to actualize the “New Silk Road” concept.
Like the ancient Silk Road, Afghanistan would be connected to the heart of lucrative trade routes between Central and South Asia and the rest of the world involving modern highways, rail links and energy pipelines.
The Foreign Minister in her statement underscored that regional stability and development remains Pakistan’s foremost priority. She said Pakistan is willing to play a constructive role in seeking enhanced regional trade and economic cooperation.
Pakistan believes, she added that these regional trade linkages would offer the best opportunity to usher in an era of peace and prosperity for the peoples of the region. She further said that building a network of resources and trade corridors would signify international commitments to Afghanistan long term development.
Appreciating the vision of Hillary Clinton of New Silk Road she hoped that after materialization of the concept, the Central and South Asia would be linked with Afghanistan through a network of economic and transit connections.
She also stated that Pakistan has already embarked on regional energy project in the form of Turkmenistan- Afghanistan- Pakistan- India (TAPI) gas pipeline and the CASA-1000 mega watt electricity grid project which will enhance regional inter-dependence and cooperation. She mentioned that implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan trade agreement (APTTA) will also go a long way in enhancing bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This will be followed by trilateral, even quadrilateral transit trade arrangements with other Central Asian States. However, securing regional peace and stability is a vital pre-requisite for the success of any such initiative, she highlighted.
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