ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday said that Pakistan desired a strong and successful Southeast Asia, which was critical for the stability and development of the entire continent.
“The more connected and united we are, the more able we would be in overcoming our collective challenges and prospering together as a region,” the foreign minister said in a message on 56th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Extending felicitations to the union’s members on behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, FM Bilawal said his country shared ASEAN’s vision of amity and cooperation with countries in Asia-Pacific.
“We believe that an integrated Asia promises a prosperous future for all. Pakistan has, therefore, endeavoured to develop partnerships all across the continent — particularly with ASEAN countries,” a press release quoted the foreign minister as saying.
Bilawal said ASEAN was established as a unique platform for regional cooperation in Southeast Asia.
Premised on the core principles of cooperation, amity and non-interference, ASEAN had matured over the last 56 years as a leading organization for peace and development in the region, he added.
The foreign minister added that “ASEAN way” of diplomatic engagement provided a blueprint for regional peace and cooperation.
“ASEAN is today a central pillar of regional architecture”, he said, adding Pakistan’s relations with ASEAN countries had continued to grow with great potential for enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, tourism, agriculture, information technology and maritime cooperation.