Islamabad: The Fourth Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey ended today in Antalya, Turkey.

The Conference adopted a joint statement, henceforth known as the Antalya Declaration.

In line with Asad Qaiser’s proposal, the Antalya Declaration recognised Pakistan’s principled position on the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan in line with the UNSC resolutions.

On Speaker Asad Qaiser’s initiative, the conference also stressed the need for all States to avoid politicization of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a tactic that India continuously employ against Pakistan.

The Antalya Declaration also adopted Pakistan’s iteration that COVID-19 vaccines must be made affordable for the peoples of the developing countries so as to ensure access of vulnerable populations to vaccines.

The Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan, Asad Qaiser, led a Parliamentary delegation to participate in the Fourth Speakers Conference on “Countering Terrorism and Strengthening Regional Connectivity” in Antalya, Turkey on 24-25 March 2021. The delegation comprised Parliamentarians from both Senate and National Assembly of Pakistan. Parliamentary delegations from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Russia and Turkey also participated in the Conference.

The Fourth Speakers Conference also adopted a Antalya Declaration through consensus, which reiterated that inter-parliamentary cooperation establishes dialogue channels that contribute to peace, security and development. The Antalya Declaration also noted that for ensuring global and regional peace and stability, all outstanding issues in the region, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, need to be resolved in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.

At the Conference, the Speaker Asad Qaiser highlighted that connectivity was the foundation stone of regional integration and cooperation. In this context, he drew attention to the numerous opportunities existing in the region to reap benefits through strengthening regional connectivity. He shared his concerns on the rising xenophobia, Islamophobia, discrimination and intolerance around the world.

On the sidelines of the Conference, the Parliamentary delegation of Pakistan also held meetings with Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq, in which steps to boost regional cooperation and integration were discussed.