Ghani in Islamabad to inaugurate key regional conference
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday landed in Islamabad to co-inaugurate an important regional conference on Afghanistan’s stability and economic development.
He was accorded a warm welcome by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and senior officials at the Nur Khan air base in Islamabad, where he was presented a guard of honour and given a 21 gun salute.
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, air and naval chief, National Security Advisor Nasser Janjua, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi were also present.
Ghani was transported away from the airbase in a limousine. High-ranking delegations from 14 participating states, 17 supporting countries and 12 international and regional organisations are participating in the event.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates are part of the initiative launched in 2011 for encouraging economic and security cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours.
Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will jointly open the Heart of Asia -- Istanbul Process in Islamabad.
In his address, the president will highlight the imperative of regional cooperation on issues of an effective approach to combating terrorism, trade links and Afghanistan’s current challenges
On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, Ghani is scheduled to hold separate talks with foreign ministers and representatives from a number of countries, the Presidential Palace in Kabul said.
During the day-long trip, the president will also attend a meetings among Afghan, Pakistani, American and Chinese officials. The trilateral and quadrilateral negotiations are billed as central to regional harmony.
Ghani is accompanied by his Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi and Advisor on Economic Affairs Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal.
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