Centre for Middle East & Africa inaugurated in Islamabad

The center will help observe the latest developments in the region and Pakistan’s perspective on them

The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) inaugurated its Centre for Middle East & Africa (CMEA). Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Sohail Mahmood was the Chief Guest at the occasion while High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya & Dean of African Countries’ Ambassadors in Pakistan Prof. Julius Kibet Bitok was also present on the occasion.

The Centre aims to promote and provide quality research, analysis, policy input and dialogue on issues related to the Middle East and Africa. The center will help in observing latest developments, contributing in-depth research and analysis, organizing and promoting dialogue and debate on political, security, economic, and social aspects of the Middle East and Africa countries, with the focus on relevance for Pakistan.

Sohail Mahmood stated that the Middle East is one of crucial areas in the world today. The regioj is especially critical due to its effects on the world’s energy supplies. The people of Pakistan share a strong bond with the people in the Middle East.

Mahmood said that Africa has one of the largest concentrations of Pakistani workers that play a significant role both for their home and host country. Similarly, he said that the African continent is where Pakistan’s past, present and future converge. Both Pakistan and Africa have been successful against their colonizers, which entails a natural meeting of the two sides. Both Pakistan and Africa also have a strong tradition of mutual support.

Prof. Julius Kibet Bitok appreciated the steps the Government of Pakistan taken to engage with Africa.  A Pakistan- Africa Trade and Development Conference was held in Nairobi in January 2020, which he called a landmark development in the ‘Engage Africa’ policy of Pakistan. The conference hosted over a hundred business men and women from Pakistan. He said he looked forward to future interactions and visits at the highest levels of government.

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