ISTANBUL (Agencies) - The Istanbul regional conference on Wednesday adopted a declaration envisaging a broad range of effective confidence building measures to promote a secure and stable Afghanistan in a secure, stable and prosperous region. According to the declaration adopted by 11 ministers, besides representatives of 29 neighbouring countries of Afghanistan known as Heart of Asian Countries, they also agreed on a number of CBMs in political, security, economic, educational and cultural fields. The Istanbul conference jointly hosted by Turkey and Afghanistan also envisages guarantees of territorial integrity, sovereignty and refraining from the threat or use of force to resolve disputes. The participants also discussed guarantees for non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law. The conference was addressed by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and representatives of neighbouring and regional countries. According to declaration, the participants reaffirmed their desire for enhanced cooperation for fighting terrorism, including through exchange of information. The document emphasised the need for cooperation and interaction with Afghanistan and among regional countries to curb narcotics trade and trafficking of illegal goods. In the economic field, it called for building on the model of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement to expand trade across the region and development of a coherent strategy to promote a regionally coherent trade and border management. It called for Preferential Trade Agreement within the region, establishment of databases and a system of data exchange in trade and economic spheres, improvement of exchange of information on commercial opportunities and improvement in the provisions for the settlement of commercial disputes. It emphasised the need for a strategy to encourage participation of the private sector in regional development programmes and exchange of information on development of international tourism and tourist infrastructure. The joint declaration aimed at encouraging the establishment of a framework for enhanced cooperation among chambers of commerce; training of personnel in various fields of economic activity and a strategy to develop a regionally connecting infrastructure. The conference supported cooperation on easier flow of energy resources, expressed support for TAPI and CASA-1000 projects which should be implemented with a broader financial contribution by World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. It also called for exploring the possibility of developing hydroelectric power in the region and cooperation in water resources, besides development of large-scale irrigation works. It also supported a more effective regional cooperation in the agricultural and rural fields and development of infrastructure around main ports of the region. In the realm of education, the conference called for setting up a structured regional education exchange programme, emphasis on science, expansion of links among educational institutions of the regional countries and removal of hatred references from curriculum. It called for promotion of mass media as a driver for democratic development and mutual understanding and establishment of a multi-disciplinary professional and technical training centre in Tajikistan. On culture side, it envisaged joint projects aimed at disseminating information on various cultures and traditions in the region, preservation of archaeological sites, and joint efforts to promote the true nature of Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance and human accomplishment. It called for promotion of inter-faith and intra-cultural dialogue. The conference called for relaxation of visa regimes and relaxation of rules and restrictions at border crossings for legitimate travellers. As a follow up on the Istanbul conference, a decision has been taken to hold a meeting at ministerial level in Kabul in June next year. Kabul meeting would be preceded by a preparatory meeting at technical level. The conference reaffirmed the commitments enshrined in the Kabul Declaration of Good Neighbourly Relations and agreed to promote regional security and cooperation with a view to build confidence and trust among the countries of the region. It also agreed that Afghanistan and its regional partners will have to develop and coordinate contribution to advance the principles of United Nations. The conference recognised Afghanistans role as the land bridge in the Heart of Asia, connecting south Asia, central Asia and the Middle East. The conference also recognised Afghanistan as a sovereign, independent, democratic state with inviolable borders, which constitutes an integral component of the peace, well being and prosperity of the region. The conference extended its support to the government of Afghanistans priorities on the issues of security, governance, economy, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and regional cooperation. Through joint declaration, the conference recognised Afghanistans determination not to let its territory be ever again a safe haven for terrorists, terrorism and illicit drugs. It also appreciated Afghanistans commitment to respect the territorial integrity of its neighbours and to ensure them that its relations with any state, will not be directed against any third party. The conference also appreciated Afghanistans commitment and determination to combat terrorism in all its forms. The conference also assured full support and cooperation to Afghanistan to counter the threat posed by the illicit production, trafficking and consumption of drugs originating in Afghanistan. The Istanbul conference assured its readiness to engage in sincere, result-oriented cooperation at the regional level, which will not just help Afghanistan but will also be beneficial to security and prosperity in the region as a whole. Earlier at Istanbul conference, Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned that there would be no hope for peace in his war-ravaged nation without help from its neighbours to combat terror groups. Terrorist networks are by far the major threat to Afghanistans security, Karzai said. They continue to have sanctuaries outside of our border from where they conduct their merciless campaign of destruction, he said. Unless regional cooperation is assured to address the core and root of this issue peace in Afghanistan will remain elusive. When it comes to terrorism, a threat that targets not only Afghanistan, but other countries in the region and the world, we require the sincere, result-oriented cooperation of all of our neighbours... and particularly the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai told AFP. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that 13 countries had signed up to a package of confidence-building measures for cooperation in fields including security, reconstruction and health and the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. This is the commitment of regional and international actors to work together and rebuild Afghanistan until peace and stability prevails, Davutoglu said at a press conference with Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul. The signatories included Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, according to a conference statement. Another 13 nations, including major Western powers led by the United States, as well as international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union and Nato declared their support for the initiative. The Istanbul gathering is taking place a day after a trilateral summit hosted by Gul brought together the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan in a bid to ease tensions between the two neighbours. Absent from Wednesdays conference was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who cancelled after the death of her mother and was replaced by her deputy William Burns. Clinton has said Washington is now pursuing a three-pronged strategy of fight, talk, build, but with the Taliban still mounting high-profile attacks, there has been little public evidence of their willingness to talk. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the situation in Afghanistan had not improved over the 10 years since the US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11 attacks of 2001. There has been no decrease in terrorist activities there and the killing of innocent people continues, he said, according to a statement carried by Irans official IRNA news agency. He also voiced Irans opposition to a proposed US-Afghan strategic pact.