Stage is set for the D-8 summit in Islamabad on Thursday and leaders of the member countries have arrived in the Pakistan capital, officials said Wednesday.
Heads of state and government who have arrived in Islamabad to attend D-8 summit so far included Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Bangladesh delegation led by Adviser to Prime Minister Dr. Syed Ali Gohar Rizvi.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who will take over chairmanship of the organization from Nigerian President, would inaugurate the summit. The theme of the summit is “Democratic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity”.
Strict security arrangements have been made for the summit and the Interior Ministry has announced a local holiday in Islamabad on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Wednesday assumed chairmanship of D-8 Council of Ministers as the outgoing chairman Nigeria completed its two-year term.
Nigerian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ashiru handed over the chairmanship to Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the 15th session of Council of D-8 Ministers in Islamabad.
The outgoing chairman wished Pakistan the best for assuming the new responsibilities. He expressed the hope that Pakistan will play its role for the uplift of D-8 states.
On this occasion, the Council of Ministers discussed a report presented by D-8 Secretary General Widi Agoes Pratikto on the activities of the Secretariat. It also discussed the amendments to the statutory documents.
The Council adopted the report of the 32nd session of the D-8 Commission and the budget of D-8 Secretariat for 2013.
Addressing the session, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar called for early operationalization of preferential trade, visa and customs agreements to bolster economic cooperation among the D- 8 member countries.
She said a mechanism should be evolved for greater interaction among private sectors of D-8 states to tap the true potential of economic cooperation.
Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan believes in stable and peaceful neighborhood to achieve regional prosperity.
She said Pakistan believes in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. She said that we were also engaged with India to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issues of Jammu and Kashmir.
The foreign minister also strongly condemned what she called the Israeli aggression on Palestinians.