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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan's closeness with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is exemplified by its accession to the Treaty of Amity, Cooperation in South East Asia and robust engagement with ASEAN-led regional mechanisms.

In his message on the 54th ASEAN Day on Sunday, Qureshi said that the way ASEAN's far-sighted leadership has forged dialogue and cooperation across the region and beyond, while also retaining ASEAN's centrality, is truly remarkable.

"On behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, as well as on my own behalf, I am pleased to congratulate the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member states on the 54th ASEAN Day," he added.

He added that 8th August marks the historic day in 1967 when five South East Asian nations forged a common platform premised on the basic principles of cooperation, amity and non-interference.

Over the past 54 years, the ten-member ASEAN has emerged as a platform for advancement of long-term collective goals, he said, adding that it has transformed into a vibrant and integrated economic community.

"ASEAN is a fine example of 'open regionalism' worthy of emulation. ASEAN's effective measures to combat Covid-19 are commendable. Pakistan's closeness with ASEAN is exemplified by its accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in South East Asia and robust engagement with ASEAN led regional mechanisms," he added.

He pointed out that Pakistan established Sectoral Dialogue partnership with ASEAN in 1993 and became a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 2004.

In line with its 'Vision East Asia' policy, he added that Pakistan places high priority on strengthening and diversifying its engagement with ASEAN, inter alia through better connectivity and people-to-people contacts.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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