Islamabad, 3 August 2022 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be visiting Cambodia to attend the 29th Ministerial Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The ARF meeting will be held in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, from 4-6 August 2022. Secretary-General of ASEAN, Foreign Ministers, and Representatives of ARF member states will be participating in the meeting.

At the Meeting, Bilawal Bhutto will participate in deliberations on security and political issues related to Asia-Pacific. Moreover, the Foreign Minister will also have meetings with the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Cambodia.

Along with it, he will have bilateral meetings with a number of his counterparts on the sidelines as well.

About ARF

In July 1993, in the Twenty-Sixth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the ASEAN states Ministers agreed to establish the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). The inaugural meeting of the forum was held on 25 July 1994, in Bangkok, Thailand.

ARF is a significant platform for Asia-pacific countries to discuss issues related to regional security. It comprises 27 member states including 10 ASEAN states while others are ASEAN dialogue partners.

The regional forum aims to foster constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of concern and common interest.

Moreover, it promotes making significant contributions toward confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pakistan and ARF

Pakistan joined ASEAN Regional Forum in 2004. Since then, it has been an active member of the Forum and it participates in its activities regularly.

In August 2021, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi attended the 28th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) online meeting. The Minister briefed the forum about Pakistan’s progress in fighting terrorism.

Moreover, the Minister assured Pakistan’s support for the negotiations on the code of conduct regarding the South China Sea issue.

Furthermore, in October 2021, Pakistan and Malaysia hosted the 24th meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum Heads of Defence Universities, Colleges, and Institutions.