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June 17, 2021

Economic uplift, connectivity to be promoted throu diplomacy: FM

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday is scheduled to leave today (Thursday) for Turkey to participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum from 17-20 June 2021 at the invitation of Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlüt Çavu o lu.

The theme of the forum is ‘Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches’.

“The foreign minister will also be participating in a panel discussion on ‘Regional Cooperation in Asia’ along with other foreign ministers from the region, where he will highlight Pakistan’s vision for regional cooperation, economic development and connectivity,” said the Foreign Office while announcing the visit. World leaders and dozens of foreign ministers as well as prominent diplomats, academics and journalists will come together to attend the two-day event where all global issues will be discussed openly and innovatively, the Turkish media reported.

“What we mean by innovative diplomacy is that the forum will not just stick to the existing problems but also seek ways to resolve them. The participants will not only discuss the current issues but will debate about the future in an innovative and insightful way,” Murat Karagöz, the ambassador and coordinator of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, said.

On the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the foreign minister will be holding bilateral meetings with his counterparts and key regional and international partners.

“Pakistan supports partnership in trade, connectivity and economic development, based on mutual trust and shared agenda, through regional collaboration and multilateral cooperation,” added the Foreign Office.

Media reports pointed out that as for the regional issues, the developments in the Middle East and the Gulf, in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Southern Caucasus, Africa, Asia and Europe as well as their future impacts on global affairs will be discussed at the panel. The ways to tackle extremism and discrimination, the global fight against terrorism and the topic of energy are some of the thematic issues that will be raised during the two-day forum.

Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Josep Borrell, the EU high representative and EU Commission vice president, Margaritis Schinas, the EU commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, Mathias Cormann, secretary-general for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Antonio Vitorino, Director-General for the International Organisation for Migration, are among the high-ranking participants of the forum.

Meanwhile, Qureshi addressed a letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the United Nations Secretary General to apprise them of Pakistan’s grave concern on reports indicating that India may be contemplating the imposition of further illegal and unilateral measures in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), including division, bifurcation and additional demographic changes in the occupied territory.

In his letter, the foreign minister drew attention to India’s continued military siege of IIOJ&K, which has continued for over 22 months, to suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate demands through a massive campaign of repression including gross and systematic violations of human rights.

The foreign minister has recalled that, since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August, 2019, Indian occupation forces have killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of Kashmiris, and put almost the entire Kashmiri leadership behind bars.