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The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi spoke yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, Washington DC on ” Promoting Regional Peace, Security and Prosperity: Challenges and Opportunities”. The event was moderated by Mr. Jim Carafano, Vice President for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Speaking to a large audience comprising a wide cross section of think tank community, academia, U.S. officials and media representatives, Mr. Fatemi provided a comprehensive overview of the steps taken by Pakistan to promote regional peace, security and development. The Special Assistant said that maintaining good neighborly relations in the region was a key priority of the government. Fighting terrorism and extremism will also remain its top priority. Pakistan would continue to work closely with the Government of Afghanistan to create an environment that promotes peace, stability and prosperity in that country and the region. It also desires to resolve all differences with India through dialogue. In this regard, the recent meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in Ufa, Russia was an important development.

During the interactive session, the Special Assistant responded to various questions related to different aspects of Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policy including its relations with the US, China, India and other countries of the region. The Special Assistant stressed that Pakistan is keen to resolve its differences with India through dialogue in order to bring peace and tranquility in the region and beyond. He hoped that India would respond positively to Pakistan’s proposal to engage in a constructive dialogue to discuss all outstanding issues including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Highlighting the importance Pakistan attached to stronger Pakistan-U.S. cooperation, Mr. Fatemi noted that since the last visit of the Prime Minister to Washington DC in 2013, substantial progress has been made in the bilateral relations. The two sides were closely cooperating for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. He stressed that an enduring U.S.-Pakistan partnership is vital to regional and international security.

July 24, 2015

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