Sartaj arrives 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.
On Sunday, the Indian Prime Minister and Afghan President will jointly inaugurate the conference, being attended by around 40 foreign ministers and dignitaries of 14 participating countries.

The two-day Heart of Asia (HoA) Summit is scheduled in Indian city of Amritsar.

The HoA initiative 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.