Sartaj arrives in India to attend Heart of Asia conference

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 3 (APP): Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Saturday arrived in Amritsar, India, to attend a two-day key meet of the Heart of Asia.

Upon his arrival, he was received by Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and Joint Secretary of Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
Sartaj Aziz also sent a bouquet to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence, extending his sincere good wishes for her full and speedy recovery.
The Adviser will represent Pakistan in the conference with focus on regional cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours and the efforts for durable peace in the war-ravaged country.
In the evening, Sartaj Aziz also attended a dinner hosted for the visiting dignitaries at a heritage village, named ‘Sadda Pind’ or ‘our village’, located on the outskirts of Amritsar.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also attended the dinner hosted by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Sartaj Aziz shook hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra  Modi.
According to High Commissioner Abdul Basit, Prime Minister Modi on the occasion expressed well wishes for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Talking to the media, Abdul Basit said all the participants had a joint meeting with Prime Minister Modi after the dinner during which issues relating to Afghanistan were discussed.
He said Adviser Sartaj Aziz on the occasion reitaerated Pakistan’s commitment for peace and stability in Afghanistan and expressed the support for every effort to be made for the purpose.
Bsait said the Adviser had a lenghty meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarief during the dinner.
He said on Sunday, the Indian Prime Minister and Afghan President would jointly inaugurate the conference, being attended by around 40 foreign ministers and dignitaries of 14 participating countries.
Adviser Sartaj Aziz would also address the conference, he added.
Replying to a question, Abdul Basit said the Adviser was also scheduled to meet Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan and the head of Chinese delegation on Sunday.
Answering another question, he said the Adviser had no other scheduled meeting with the Indian prime minister.
It may be added that Heart of Asia (HoA) Summit was launched in 2011 with the objective to boost economic and security cooperation.
Its members included Afghanistan, Pakistan Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The Heart of Asia Process initiative has the support of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Iraq,Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States.