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Pakistan to host regional meeting on Afghanistan

24 May 2015, 23:30 GMT+10

Pakistan will host a meeting of senior officials on Monday ahead of the "Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process" ministerial conference to be held in Islamabad later this year.

The "Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process" was launched in 2011 to bring together regional countries to promote peace and prosperity in Afghanistan through concerted efforts of participating and supporting countries as well as international and regional organisations engaged in the process.

Representatives from 12 other participating countries, 16 supporting countries and 12 regional and international organisations have been invited to attend the meeting, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

The deliberations in these senior officials' meetings would form the basis for the Islamabad Declaration, to be endorsed by the Heart of Asia countries and organisations during the ministerial conference.

The meeting will be co-chaired by Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Xinhua news agency reported citing the foreign ministry.

As the co-chair, Pakistan will take initiatives to take the process forward from the Beijing conference in October 2014, the ministry said in a statement.

"It will play a lead role in various activities of the Process, including three senior officials' meetings to discuss topics pertaining to the theme of this year's ministerial conference ie. 'Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Economic Connectivity'," it said.

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