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A briefing was held for the Heads of Mission of ‘Friends of Democratic Pakistan’ (FODP) countries in the Foreign Ministry today. The meeting was chaired by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. The representatives of World Bank, UN, UNDP, ADB, IDB and IMF attended the meeting. Senator Sughra Imam, Secretaries Finance, EAD, Interior, Planning, Water & Power were also present in the meeting and briefed the envoys on Pakistan’s development needs and priorities.

2. The President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari launched the initiative of FODP in New York in September 2008. Currently, the Forum consists of twenty-five countries and multilateral institutions including US, UK, China, EU, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Republic of Korea, Spain, the Netherlands, Nordic countries, UN, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank.

3. The initiative demonstrates political and economic support of the ‘Friends’ for the democratic government of Pakistan. The ‘Friends’ recognize the need for building strategic partnerships with the Government of Pakistan to promote economic development and financial stability, address its energy needs, build institutions and bring peace and stability to the region. The initiative signifies that ‘The Friends’ stand shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its journey to build a strong, prosperous and progressive country. Furthermore, a well-coordinated international approach is required to address challenges faced by Pakistan. Economic stability and implementing Pakistan’s development agenda is essential for the success of countering terrorism and extremism.

4. Pakistan is looking for sustained commitment of its development partners, including investors and multinational corporations as it would integrate Pakistan into global production chain and would develop its physical and social infrastructure.

5. It is in this backdrop that the FODP Ministerial Meeting and the Donors Conference are being held back-to-back in Tokyo on 17 April 2009. The Donors Conference will be co-hosted by Japan and the World Bank and the FODP meeting will be chaired by Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari will chair the Friends’ Ministerial meeting.

6. To finalise recommendations for the FODP Ministerial, an Experts’ Meeting will take place in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 April followed by a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Tokyo on 16 April.

March 24, 2009

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