“Excellency Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Myanmar
Let me begin by expressing our deep appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Myanmar for making excellent arrangements and successful deliberations for the success of this Forum. You deserve our congratulations, Mr. Minister.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As has been stressed in the past, it is Pakistan’s keen desire to build deeper trade and economic linkages with South East Asian countries and ASEAN. To achieve this purpose, we remain committed to promoting our relations with ASEAN and South East Asian economies, and to eventually achieve Full Dialogue Partnership status with ASEAN. We urge all members of ASEAN to support our case for Full Dialogue Partnership. Just to remind the distinguished members, Pakistan is the oldest Sectoral Dialogue Partner with ASEAN whose Full Dialogue Partnership has been put on hold since 1993!
As a peace loving country, one of the core principles of our foreign policy has been to promote and work toward building a peaceful neighborhood. In this context, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has always emphasized the significance of cooperation over confrontation in the region and beyond.
Our strong opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is evident, once again in the recently launched military operations against all terrorists, irrespective of their affiliation and orientation.
Pakistan also wishes to join our colleagues here this afternoon in expressing our deep condolences and sympathies over the death of so many innocent lives in the tragic MH17 Malaysian aircraft crash. We call for the repatriation of the remains of the victims, at the earliest.
Pakistan also calls for the peaceful resolution, through friendly dialogue, of differences relating South China Sea, so that peace and stability in this important region is not disturbed.
It is also a matter of grave concern for Pakistan and is for the world community that the growing bitterness in intra-regional relations and the advent of proxy forces in the conflicts has made the situation worse. All of us, therefore, need to play our role for the diplomatic and peaceful solution to these conflicts. It would be helpful if all of us support the UN resolutions, adopted from time to time, for the resolution of such disputes.
I support the sentiments of my colleagues present here when I convey our deep sense of grief, anguish and distress over the current violence and aggression in Gaza. To stop the bloodshed, Pakistan has strongly condemned Israeli aggression and expressed solidarity with the Palestinians. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to emphasize the need for early resolution of the Middle East conflict in a just and equitable manner, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. Let me also add here that in response to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) flash appeal for Gaza, Pakistan has contributed USD one million to the fund created for this purpose.
The situation in Iraq has become a matter of deep concern to all of us, while the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. We strongly feel that the only viable option is engagement in dialogue. We are apprehensive that if the conflict is allowed to fester, this could lead to extreme regional instability, particularly a sectarian conflagration, with unbearable consequences.
History has presented us with an opportunity to convert the 21st century into a truly Asian Century by avoiding new conflicts and resolving the old ones. ARF is an important instrument to realize this objective. We need to harness the potential this organization and its membership to harmonize our collective response towards increasing regional cooperation and security environment through dialogue and diplomacy. Our common cause and diversity should in fact become our strengths that would lead us to path of negotiations and resolutions of difference and viable solutions to our numerous afflictions.”
I thank you all!
Last modified: November 21, 2019
Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world.