Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar addresses 18th ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting


Islamabad: In her address to the ARF Ministerial Meeting at Bali, Foreign Minister, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar today condemned the bomb attack in Oslo. She said the people of Pakistan who have suffered immensely from terrorism fully understood the pain of people in Norway.

She also urged the international community to recognize and respect sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani people in the fight against terrorism. She emphasized that the international community must support Pakistan in this critical struggle.

She said that Pakistan was making its contribution towards peace and stability in the region. She said Pakistan supported early return of peace and stability in Afghanistan. She specifically referred to the first meeting of the joint commission on reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan during President Karzai’s visit to Pakistan on June 11, 2010.

Referring to debt crisis in Europe and new found political assertiveness in Middle Eastern countries, Foreign Minister Hina Khar said that they indicated the emerging challenges which would need patience and sagacity by political leaders.

On the South China Sea, Foreign Minister Hina Khar expressed satisfaction on the agreement reached between China and ASEAN countries on guidelines for the implementation of declaration of conduct by the concerned parties. She emphasized that territorial claims by various countries should be resolved peacefully through bilateral dialogue in the ASEAN spirit.

On the sidelines of the 18th ARF(Asean Regional Forum) today the Foreign Minister held meetings with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexey Nikolaevich Borodavkin, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa as well as the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

In the meeting with US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, issues of regional and international significance were discussed and emphasis laid on re-engagement on important facets of bilateral ties.

During meeting with the Russian Dy. Foreign Minister, the Afghanistan situation, with particular reference to the issue of terrorism and narcotics came under discourse.

Both sides resolved to reinvigorate their economic cooperation. Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani urged the Russian side to have greater economic engagement in Pakistan. Both the Ministers agreed that in view of their senior leaders meeting in Dushanbe in September, they needed to underline specific areas for further discussion to build up their economic cooperation. They expressed appreciation over growth in their bilateral relations.

In her meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar emphasized the need to focus on economic and trade ties. She said there was a vast reservoir of goodwill in both countries on which a sound social and economic cooperation could be built. Both sides also agreed that high level visits were very important to enhance bilateral relations. Mr. Marty Natalegava said both countries enjoyed exemplary relations and the only challenge was how to improve them further. He assured Indonesia’s support for Pakistan’s quest to secure full dialogue partner(FDP) status with ASEAN. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani said Indonesia being chairman of ASEAN at present, Pakistan hoped for its full support in seeking the FDP status. Both the Ministers on this occasion exchanged invitation for official visits to each other’s country.

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