ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Thursday said that D8 countries agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan was important for development in the region.

Replying to queries of newsmen during his briefing in Islamabad, he said that Afghanistan was discussed in the statements of some leaders. He said everybody agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan would bring peace and stability in the region. Jilani said that the leaders of D8 were also briefed about the visit of the Afghan High Peace Council to Pakistan.

The foreign secretary said that the D8 Summit was the acknowledgement of the member states’ close ties with Pakistan. He said that it was a very wonderful and successful summit held after eight years of any big event like SAARC Summit. The foreign secretary said Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was supposed to come, but due to important developments in Gaza, he could not. However, he said, the Egyptian president conveyed good wishes for the people of Pakistan.


“It was an important gathering of Islamic, developing and democratic countries,” he noted. Jilani said that the president in his speech floated the idea of establishment of development and trade banks, encouraging barter trade and currency swap among the D8 member states. He said that the president also emphasised increased interaction between parliaments, media and civil society of the member countries.

The foreign secretary said that operationalisation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was an important issue emphasised in the meeting. He said the next summit will be held in Turkey and stated that three important documents emerged from the summit that include Charter of the Organisation; Global Vision containing elements strengthening of democracy, rule of law, good governance and sustainable development, and Islamabad Declaration.

He said on the sidelines of the summit, the leaders also discussed the situation in Gaza. He said everybody wants to have a ceasefire and urgent attention paid to the situation and also resolution of the Palestinian issue.

The leaders also discussed the Syrian situation and exchanged views about what steps D8 can take to help resolve the situation. Replying to a question, the foreign secretary said the D8 leaders deeply appreciated the economic reforms process undertaken by Pakistan and also appreciated the fact that despite difficulties on the front of terrorism, the economy has been growing at a reasonable pace.

 

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