ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said the Developing 8 (D-8) group is a group of eight democratic nations that have the ability to work on their agenda, adding that the D-8 can help cement relations between the eight countries.
President Zardari said this while addressing the D-8 conference after taking over chairmanship from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for two years.
The conference was attended by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Syed Gohar, Deputy Malaysian Prime Minisyer Syed Gohar, Deputy Malaysian Prime Minister Muhauddin Yaseen and Egyptian Vice President Mahmus Mekki as the Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi could not attend.
While addressing the conference President Zardari condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza and said Palestinians have been awaiting promised self determination for decades and the D-8 nations must look into this matter.
Recognizing Egyptian President Morsi’s efforts to negotiate peace between Hamas and Israel, President Zardari congratulated the Egyptian premier, adding that Pakistan was proud of his leadership.
President Zardari appreciated Indonesia’s support for Pakistan and said that the nation has a glowing record of standing by Pakistan in its hour of need.
While speaking about the issue of terrorism, President Zardari said that terrorist groups seek to impose their agenda but Pakistan will not let Islam be hijacked, adding that Pakistan will continue to fight against the dark and destructive agenda of terrorists.
Speaking about the D-8 nations collectively, President Zardari said that the D-8 was a group of very important nations and their relations were beyond ordinary partnership.
Endorsing the core values of D-8, namely peace, dialogue, cooperation, justice and democracy, President Zardari said that the D-8 nations have the potential to advance the long term objectives of their agenda, adding that Islamabad will build upon the roadmap.
Reiterating the importance of democracy, President Zardari reminded that democracy was at the very heart of Pakistan’s identity as it was founded through democratic means.
Calling for D-8 countries to work as a catalyst for peace and prosperity in the world, President Zardari said Pakistan and its people want peace, adding that the Pakistani government is making unprecedented moves to make peace with India and also supports the peace process in Afghanistan.