Heart of Asia conference starts in Islamabad

Islamabad: The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process conference started here on Wednesday with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurating the event.

The conference aims to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and strengthening regional economic cooperation and connectivity, Radio Pakistan reported.

Delegations from 17 countries and 12 international and regional organisations are expected to participate in the process, initiated in 2011 by Afghanistan.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has arrived in Islamabad to attend the ministrial conference.

She will later in the day hold meetings with Nawaz Sharif and his advisor on national security affairs Sartaj Aziz.

This year's conference theme, "Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region", would underline commitments from the participating countries for sustained efforts towards promoting peace and security, economic development and connectivity in the region.

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