HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud said Qatar is playing a pivotal role to promote peace and stability in the world and will continue to foster dialogue and resolve conflicts peacefully.

He was speaking at the opening session of the second Asia Co-operation Dialogue (ACD) Summit which was inaugurated by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

At the beginning of his speech, al-Mahmoud convoyed the greetings of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the participants.

Qatar's participation in the summit as one of the founding members stems from its keenness to develop and enhance co-operation between countries of the continent, al-Mahmoud said.

Qatar hosted the fifth ACD Ministerial Meeting in May 2006 as it was keen to enhance mutual co-operation, which would deepen economic integration and the continent 's development, he said.

Taking further steps and exerting intensified efforts are key elements to achieve such an integration, al-Mahmoud said, stressing that the available means would lay the base for the promotion of a fruitful co-operation in energy, food security, transport and communications, telecommunications and infrastructure construction.

Al-Mahmoud said the summit, which brings together 34 countries of the Asian continent, will contribute to enhancing joint efforts to deal with regional and global challenges including the economic crisis, food and water security, energy security, climate change, terrorism, international co-operation.

He welcomed Turkey and Nepal as new members of the forum.

As one of the world's largest continents, Asia is a hub for global growth, al-Mahmoud said, stressing that common historical heritage, cultural and humanitarian ties and mutual respect among its peoples would enrich joint co-operation and harmony among them.

Since its inception 15 years ago, Asia Co-operation Dialogue has played an important role in creating a climate of mutual trust and good neighbourly relations in all political, security, economic and social aspects, al-Mahmoud said.

Al-Mahmoud warned of the explosive and catastrophic situation in the Middle East, the East Asian maritime dispute and the status of Muslim minorities of Southeast Asia, which affect the social fabric of the continent.

Qatar has already warned that lack of action to address the crises could significantly exacerbate them, leading to an increase in complexity al-Mahmoud said.

He said Qatar believes that renouncing violence and extremism and condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations require a long-term strategy and action plan along with a practical approach by political leaders.

Qatar will continue to foster dialogue and resolve disputes by peaceful means, he said.

Earlier, al-Mahmoud met separately with Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

Talks during the meetings dealt with topics on the summit agenda and Qatar's relations with the three countries.

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