Islamabad: The Foreign Ministers and Senior Officials of member countries of Developing Eight Organization will convene the 16th meeting of the Council of Ministers here today (Thursday).
As the chair of the organization, Pakistan is hosting the meeting which will be inaugurated and chaired by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs. Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister will also attend the Council meeting.
Foreign Minister of Iran Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Turkey Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Foreign Minister of Indonesia Mr. Wardana, Member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly Mr. Hadi Shostari, Special Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Ali Sarikaya, and senior officials from other member states will attend the meeting.
In its capacity as the chair of the D-8, Pakistan along with other member countries is making efforts to enable the private sectors to enhance business and trade among the membership. The current intra-D-8 trade stands at US$ 150 billion which is targeted to increase to US$ 500 billion during the next four years.
Pakistan has ratified all key agreements related to trade, visa facilitation and customs matters and is keen to commence the process of tariff reduction by member states.
The Council meeting will take important decisions in regard to early implementation of the Preferential Trade Agreement, activation of private sector and the way forward for the D-8 in its second phase of existence which will ensue with the 9th Summit to be held in Turkey next year.
On the occasion of the Council session, the Foreign Ministers of Iran and Turkey will separately meet the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security & Foreign Affairs and discuss matters relating to bilateral relations as well as ways to strengthen the D-8.
The Council comprising the Foreign Ministers of member states is the political decision making organ. It precedes the Summit and functions in accordance with the guidelines and policy directives of the Summit. The next Council meeting will be held in Turkey during the last quarter of 2014.