Speaking at the opening session, Aziz and Karzai expressed hope that the conference will help evolve strategy against the threat of terrorism and extremism. The two also favoured economic cooperation and regional connectivity. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will jointly inaugurate the Fifth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process meeting tomorrow.

The conference aims to cement regional ties through a set of confidence building measures. The process will expand coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbours in facing common threats including terrorism, narcotics, poverty and extremism.

Foreign ministers of 10 countries, including India, China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Iran have confirmed participation, said the foreign ministry. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive today in Islamabad to attend the meeting.

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