Zangilan, 30 September 2023 (TDI):  The Caretaker Planning Minister for Development & Special Initiatives Muhammad Sami Saeed reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the territorial integrity and Sovereignty of Azerbaijan while highlighting the importance of the long-standing economic cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

The Minister made these remarks while speaking to the media after the opening ceremony of the Second Azerbaijan National Urban Forum & Global Observance of World Habitat Day 2023, themed “Resilient Cities as a driving force of economic development and Fighting Inequalities.”

The ceremony was organized by the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture of the Republic of Azerbaijan in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) in Zangilan as part of the Azerbaijan Urban Week.

“The Government of Pakistan and its people fully support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Azerbaijani and express solidarity with Azerbaijan,” said the Planning Minister, while talking to the media after the opening ceremony of an event where President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev was the chief guest.

The Key objective of the Forum is to discuss the Emerging Urban Challenges, Collaborative Approaches for Regional Resilience and Sustainable Development, Resilience, and sustainable Development, Strategies for action and International Collaboration and opportunities, and others.

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It is noted that last year, the first National Urban Forum was held in Aghdam city of Azerbaijan, which was also destroyed, and now there is also a big construction activity there. The second forum is being held in Zangilan, which is now being reconstructed along with the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

The Planning Minister appreciated the government of Azerbaijan for conducting a successful Second National Urban Forum which plays a vital role in the reconstruction of destroyed cities with the theme of “Resilient cities as a driving force of economic development and fighting inequalities.

He noted the positive trajectory of Pakistan-Azerbaijan relations and reiterated the resolve to further strengthen relations with a focus on different fields like trade, connectivity, energy, tourism, and Information Technology.

During his visit, the Planning Minister met with the Chairman State Committee on Urban Planning & Architecture of Azerbaijan, Anar Guliyev, and discussed various avenues of collaboration between the two countries.

The Planning Minister highlighted the recently launched Resilient, Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF) for Pakistan Floods 2022. He said that Pakistan was badly hit by the Flood 2022 affected 33 million people and this Framework will help in making a resilient infrastructure.

The Minister also interacted with his counterparts from Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia and discussed matters of mutual interest.  The Minister also visited the Agali Smart Village and School in Zangilan, where he interacted with students. The Minister was given a briefing on the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts after the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in this city.