Belt and Road Forum starts; PM Sharif joins 29 world leaders

APP39-14 BEIJING: May 14 - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and First Lady in a group photo with other world leaders and their spouses at the Great Hall of People. APP

BEIJING, May 14 (APP): The inaugural session of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation started here Sunday under the chairmanship of President of China Xi Jinping, to develop a broad-based network of international cooperation and stronger partnership.
The high profile event is being attended by 29 heads of state and government including Turkey, Italy, Philippines, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and those from African and Central Asian States, besides 1500 delegates from around 130 states.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has also joined the
world leaders at the event along with his high-level delegation including Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Murad
Ali Shah, Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zahri. Besides Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, State Minister for IT Anusha Rehman and Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz are also accompanying the prime minister.
The Forum is being dubbed as a platform to develop a network for international cooperation, closer and stronger partnership with other regional stakeholders.
The Forum comprises an inaugural session, to be followed by high level
meetings on the first day and a roundtable conference on Monday to be attended by all the world leaders arriving here for the Forum.
President Xi Jinping also addressed the inaugural session
and highlighted his vision of One Belt and One Road initiative along with its importance for regional development and cooperation.