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Diplomacy in Action

Statement at the Co-Chairs' Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan


Communique
Istanbul, Turkey
August 25, 2009

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1. A Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan was held in Istanbul on 25 August 2009. The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey and Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Pakistan.

2. Addressing the meeting, Foreign Minister Qureshi recalled the progress made by the FODP since its launching at the New York Ministerial meeting in 2008, and the Tokyo Ministerial meeting. He stressed the importance of the Istanbul meeting as preparatory to the New York FODP Summit to be co-chaired by President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Asif Ali Zardari. Foreign Minister Qureshi enumerated Pakistan's vision for socio-economic development and the comprehensive national strategy to consolidate democracy; improve governance; ensure the welfare and well-being of the people as well as to promote peace, stability and prosperity of the region. He expressed thanks for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's agreement to provide an assessment to the Summit based on the conclusions of the Istanbul Ministerial Meeting of 25 August 2009.

3. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gave a clear and unambiguous message of Turkey's support for the people and Government of Pakistan. He underlined that the FODP is a comprehensive process led by Pakistan that is uniquely tailored to address the needs of Pakistan. The Minister stated that the FODP should also be regarded as a long term effort which however must deliver concretely in the shortest run. Minister Davutoglu noted that although there had been considerable progress in the work of FODP group since its formation, much more needs to be done in the context of this dynamic process. He added there was significant convergence in Istanbul regarding the future of the FODP process.

4. The meeting evaluated the progress made thus far. It agreed to take the FODP process forward to enable Pakistan to attain its national development goals with the support of its friends. It underscored the need for international and multifaceted partnerships with Pakistan for developing win-win scenarios and broadening the expanse of the engagement to also include the corporate sector.

5. The meeting underscored the importance of Pakistan as an anchor of stability in the region and in the world.

6. The meeting paid tribute to the people of Pakistan for their extraordinary courage and resolve and for Pakistan's unrelenting efforts especially by the law enforcement agencies in Swat and Malakand, to eliminate militancy and terrorism. It expressed solidarity with the people of Pakistan, who were united in their determination to defeat these evils and were endeavouring, in a democratic dispensation, to realize their goals of development and in making Pakistan a progressive, welfare State.

7. It lauded Pakistan's very impressive handling of the issue of displaced persons. More than 1.4 million people have returned to their homes. Pakistan's national efforts in rendering relief and ongoing efforts for rehabilitation and reconstruction were supported.

8. It was reiterated that to win hearts and minds, and signal full support to the affected persons, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected areas must assume high priority. The meeting took note of the briefing on the Malakand Strategy, and agreed that its implementation should be fast tracked. It also underscored the importance attached by the international community, especially the friends to support and assist the efforts of the Government of Pakistan for socio-economic uplift of affected areas and to enhance security and promote the well being of the people. In this context the meeting also recognized the role of the Pakistani diaspora in supporting the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas.

9. The meeting welcomed Pakistan's successful transition to full democracy, with a functioning parliament, an independent judiciary, a free media and a vibrant civil society.

10. It reiterated its full support to Pakistan's efforts to realize the vision of a democratic, progressive welfare State, geared towards socio-economic uplift of the people. Promoting good governance, rule of law, economic reform and consolidation of democratic institutions were key to realizing this vision.

11. The meeting underscored the importance of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development and recognized the need for assisting Pakistan in meeting its energy requirements. The meeting welcomed the decision of the Government of Pakistan to relaunch a revitalized Pakistan Development Forum. It recommended a special focus on energy, security and other national priorities.

12. The meeting decided to continue to strengthen and expand cooperation with Pakistan, collectively and individually to enable the country to build upon its inherent strengths, by among other means, helping build the capacity of national and local institutions and assisting in forging durable public-private partnerships.

13. The meeting underscored the continued relevance and importance of the friends process to translate political support and solidarity into tangible programmes and projects on the ground. It was agreed that the broad-based process should be Pakistan-led and responsive to Pakistan's priorities and needs, both in terms of substance and modalities for support and assistance.

14. The meeting recalled the value of public diplomacy and stressed the importance of developing programmes in this context.

15. Taking note of the report of the Senior Officials' Meeting, it requested the working groups under the clusters of energy, development, trade, finance, infrastructure and institutional capacity building to step up analysis, formulation and evaluation of proposals, and prepare recommendations for consideration by Friends.

16. The meeting discussed the following elements for the way forward for the FODP process:

    1. Expressing satisfaction on the launch and evolution of FODP, the importance of its continuation and invigoration.
    2. Building on Pakistan's internal strengths.
    3. Forging durable partnerships.
    4. Expanding economic opportunities including market access.
    5. Realizing of Tokyo pledges
    6. Focusing on the energy sector development.
    7. Focusing on social sector programmes through a revitalized Pakistan Development Forum.
    8. Supporting Pakistan's efforts in building capacity in the security sector.
    9. Stressing on a Pakistan-led and Pakistan-driven process responsive to Pakistan's needs
    10. Transforming political goodwill and support into programmes and project cooperation
    11. Endorsing the key sectors of energy, trade, finance, security, institutional capacity building and development.
    12. Supporting Pakistan's comprehensive national strategy for broad-based development in accordance with Pakistan's priorities.
    13. Focusing on public diplomacy and communications
    14. Recognizing Pakistan's importance as a factor of stability in the region, Pakistan's success in addressing the challenges of terrorism and extremism, as well as sacrifices made.

17. The meeting welcomed the holding of the Summit of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Forum in New York on 24 September 2009. The meeting agreed that the Summit marking the first anniversary of the launch of the initiative by President Asif Ali Zardari in September 2008, would move forward the FODP process for the benefit of the people of Pakistan.

Istanbul,
25 August 2009



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