Foreign Secretary Ambassador Sohail Mahmood inaugurated the trilateral workshop for diplomats from Afghanistan, China and Pakistan at the Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad today. The ceremony was attended by Chinese and Afghan Deputy Heads of Mission as well as senior officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other notable dignitaries were also present at the occasion. 39 diplomats from three countries will attend the two-week workshop.

While welcoming the diplomats from China and Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary underscored the importance of deepening cooperation under the rubric of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, which is pivotal to advancing the shared goals of peace and security, trade and economic development and regional connectivity and prosperity. He urged the young diplomats to further fortify this trilateral cooperation in the years to come.

Highlighting the multi-faceted and All-weather strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China, Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan was committed to expand and deepen cooperation in the field of education, technology and innovation. He said that Pakistan was one of the earliest participants in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), BRI’s flagship project, had made enormous progress.

Referring to close and historical ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood said that multifaceted ties of geography, history, faith, language and kinship between Pakistan and Afghanistan provided a firm foundation for a broader and durable relationship. He further said that Pakistan remained committed to supporting peace, stability and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Deputy Head of Mission of China Ms. Pang Chunxue and Charge d’ Affaires of Afghanistan Mr. Ahmad Shakir Qarar also addressed the inauguration ceremony. In their remarks, they also stressed the importance of trilateral cooperation between the three countries. They welcomed Pakistan’s initiative to host the first capacity building workshop for diplomats.

Mr. Aftab Ahmad Khokher, Director General, Foreign Service Academy, in his welcome address, said that the Academy was a premier training institution and had trained a large number of Pakistani and foreign diplomats. While sharing details of 2-week intense programme, he said that the key objectives of the workshop were to provide the knowledge of contemporary diplomacy from a developing country’s perspective, to promote and strengthen relations between the three countries, to showcase Pakistan’s industrial, commercial and cultural potentials, and to provide networking opportunities to the course participants.

21 October 2019

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