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Shaukat to lead Pak delegation to SAARC summit

09 November, 2005

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ISLAMABAD, November 09(Online): Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will lead Pakistanís delegation to the Thirteenth SAARC Summit at Dhaka from 12-13 November 2005. The Summit would be preceded by meetings of the Senior Officials, the Foreign Secretaries and the Council of Foreign Ministers of SAARC Member States.

The Summit at Dhaka would provide the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is also the current Chairman of SAARC, to meet collectively and bilaterally with leaders from SAARC Member States and to re-affirm Pakistanís commitment to further strengthening SAARC in its third decade. The Summit is expected to review activities in the fields of economic cooperation, social development and culture. The new emerging areas of cooperation including trade, energy, environment, health and tourism would also be taken up at the Summit.

At the Summit, agreements relating to cooperation in Customs matters and avoidance of double taxation would be signed by the Foreign Ministers in the presence of the Heads of State/Government. Final negotiations on the operationalisation of South Asia Free Trade Agreement and Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment would also be held by the SAARC leadership.

Pakistan hopes that the momentum generated by the Twelfth SAARC Summit in Islamabad would be sustained at Dhaka. At the Thirteenth Summit, Pakistan would like to build upon the basis laid at Islamabad with a view to strengthening the SAARC process. Following the Agreements signed at the Twelfth Summit on Social Charter and Additional Protocol on Terrorism, Pakistan is the first country in SAARC to launch its "Plan of Action on Social Charter" and has ratified the Additional Protocol on Terrorism.

Pakistan has always stood firm on the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter to promote peace, stability, amity and progress in the region. Pakistan will continue in its efforts to promote the prospects of regional cooperation in South Asia.

End.

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