News / Middle East

Leaders of Muslim States Set to Hold Summit in Pakistan

People ride motorcycles past a banner promoting the Eighth D-8 Summit in Islamabad November 21, 2012.People ride motorcycles past a banner promoting the Eighth D-8 Summit in Islamabad November 21, 2012.
x
People ride motorcycles past a banner promoting the Eighth D-8 Summit in Islamabad November 21, 2012.
People ride motorcycles past a banner promoting the Eighth D-8 Summit in Islamabad November 21, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ayaz Gul
— Leaders of eight developing Muslim countries, including Iran, Turkey and Egypt, are meeting in Islamabad Thursday to discuss how they can increase trade and investment. The combined population of what is known as the Developing-8 or D-8 countries is around one billion, with a market worth $1 trillion. However, observers say that the proceedings are likely to be overshadowed by the Gaza conflict.

The presidents of Iran, Indonesia, Egypt and Nigeria, along with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are scheduled to attend Thursday’s D-8 summit, which will be hosted by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Malaysia and Bangladesh are sending lower level officials.

Officials say their discussions will focus on how to boost trade and jointly tackle the effects of the global economic recession on their nations.

On Wednesday, the foreign ministers from the D-8 countries held a meeting to set the scene for the summit, with Pakistan assuming the chairmanship of the group from Nigeria, which has completed its two-year term.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar welcomed the delegates to Islamabad, calling the event significant in addressing collective issues and achieving a sustainable future. She said Pakistan has invited corporate and business leaders from D-8 nations, and stressed the importance of a public-private partnership for establishing strong trade links.

“The D-8 group of countries came together in 1997 because we collectively believe that a better future for our people is within grasp. We share an intrinsic optimism about the benefits of working together, reducing the barriers between us, and enriching the lives of the one billion people that make up the D-8 family," said Khar.

In recent years, Islamabad has rarely hosted major international events, mainly because of ever growing security concerns stemming from the country’s fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida-led extremists, who have responded with frequent suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.

Professor Hasan Askari Rizvi, an independent political and defense analyst, stressed the importance of Thursday’s gathering for Pakistan.

“D-8 meeting will boost Pakistan’s image abroad as a place where top leaders can go and hold meetings. This will negate or nullify the perception about Pakistan that it is a state in turmoil where nothing normal can be done," said Rizvi.

But many believe the meeting in Islamabad will be overshadowed by the Gaza conflict, as international and regional leaders scramble to de-escalate the violence there. This was evident in Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar’s opening remarks at the Wednesday’s ministerial-level meeting.

“I know that some of my colleagues have come early morning to Pakistan directly from Gaza. The innocent people of Gaza are in our thoughts and prayers, and Pakistan once again condemns Israel’s aggression against the people of Palestine," said Khar.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nigerian leader Goodluck Jonathan and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have already arrived in Islamabad amid extremely tight security around the Pakistani capital.

To enhance security, a public holiday has been declared on Thursday in Islamabad.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is also due to attend the summit, and his arrival will mark the first visit by an Egyptian president to Pakistan in four decades. He plans to hold bilateral talks with Pakistani leaders after the summit and is scheduled to address a special session of Pakistan’s parliament on Friday.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ali baba from: new york
November 22, 2012 6:41 AM
bilnds can not lead a blind. all these countries have serious ecnomic problems.all these countries are marked by corruption ,iignorance . fanatic of islam will not get the life back for dead body.


by: Elawure Osamagbe from: PORT HARCOURT NIGERIA
November 22, 2012 6:25 AM
I believe that VOA has join the long list of what i will call WESTERN NEWS AGENCY, though i am not a Muslim i know when a news is being planted to sow discord and religious strife in a Nation. The summit being referred to as a summit of Islamic leaders is noting of such rather its a summit Is 8 developing Nations to say otherwise or label it a gathering leader is a white lie and also that VOA is practicing what will call cash and carry journalism, PLEAS VOA Nigeria has enough religious problem already and report such as this will do our country more harm than good please practice journalism ethically and stop this biased and sensational reporting

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid