The 16th Ministerial Meeting of the Member States of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), under the chairmanship of the State of Qatar, began here today.

HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani opened the meeting by saying that the meeting is taking place when the world is undergoing complex changes and developments at all political, economic and financial spheres, stressing the need to deepen cooperation among Asian countries to meet the challenges of the future.

He pointed out that the Asian continent constitutes an influential proportion in this world, stressing the need to upgrade the level of relations and cooperation among all countries of the Asian continent in various fields in order to achieve the desired joint integration at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

His Excellency pointed to the need to address the challenges of the future by deepening and intensifying ties of cooperation and creating healthy environments to build healthy and balanced relations between the countries based on respect for international legitimacy and on the proper resolution of disputes in a manner that guarantees justice, strengthens mutual trust and achieves real partnership through more effective implementation mechanisms in line with the ACD vision 2030.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out that the ACD, since its inception on 23 June 2001 and the launch of its ministerial meetings in 2002 and its first term in 2012, has proved beyond any doubt that it is a vital mechanism for cooperation in the development of the Asian continent.

His Excellency expressed his full confidence that the integration of the course of the previous ministerial meetings will provide an opportunity to deepen and strengthen existing cooperation in all fields and help to open up new horizons of cooperation, expressing Qatar's pride in hosting this important meeting and affirming its determination to do its best for its success through developing existing cooperation, and exploring new opportunities for cooperation as a cornerstone for the stability and security of the Asian continent to realize the hopes and aspirations of its peoples to realize the desired development.

‘We in the State of Qatar appreciate our relationship with the Asian countries with which we have long-standing historical relations that transcend the material interests and immediate benefits,’ he said, adding the State of Qatar supports the main objectives of the ACD initiative, which include strengthening inter-relations among Member States, coordinating political positions, strengthening cooperation in various fields and achieving common interests.

In this context, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani reiterated Qatar's support for Member States' proposals related to the 20 fields of cooperation, particularly in the areas of energy, energy security, poverty alleviation, agriculture, transport, biotechnology, environment, tourism and e-education, adding that it encourages all efforts that promote joint action under the umbrella of the ACD Secretariat General.

His Excellency pointed out that the economies of the Asian countries in recent years have witnessed increasing growth rates, which provide the opportunity for further cooperation among the countries of the continent, pointing out that any situation of tension or instability in any geographical region of this continent will negatively affect all other regions, leading to slower growth rates and development programs. 
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