AMRITSAR: The Heart of Asia Conference (HoA) Sunday called for concerted regional and international cooperation to ensure elimination of terrorism in its all forms and manifestations and stressed on early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with consensus.

The 'Amritsar Declaration' issued at the conclusion of the 6th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia held in Indian city of Amritsar, also called for “dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the Heart of Asia region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terrorism.”

The conference co-chaired by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India and Salahuddin Rabbani, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, recognised terrorism as the biggest threat to peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

The participants of the meeting called upon all the states to take action against the terrorist entities in accordance with their respective national counter terrorism policies, their international obligations and the United Nations (UN) Global Counter Terrorism Strategy 2006.

The participants recalled the five ministerial conferences in Istanbul (2011), Kabul (2012), Almaty (2013), Beijing (2014), and Islamabad (2015) and reaffirmed commitment to the principles, objectives, and outcomes enshrined in the declarations of HoA-IP aimed at promoting regional peace and prosperity.

The HoA-IP was reaffirmed as an important regional platform for political dialogue and close regional cooperation aimed at promoting stability, peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the entire Heart of Asia region, and for enhancing Afghanistan’s connectivity with the entire Heart of Asia region.

The meeting commended countries in the region and beyond, particularly Pakistan and Iran, for their hospitality in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over three decades and called upon them to continue hosting the Afghan refugees until their sustainable repatriation and reintegration in Afghanistan can take place in a voluntary, safe, gradual and dignified fashion, in accordance with the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees to Support Voluntary Repatriation, Sustainable Reintegration and Assistance to Host Communities.

The conference urged the international community to provide generous support and targeted assistance for Afghan refugees, returnees and host communities in the region, with emphasis on youth, education and livelihoods.

It welcomed the Afghanistan-Pakistan-United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Afghanistan-Iran-UNHCR Tripartite Commissions on Voluntary Repatriation of Afghan Refugees from Pakistan and Iran, as vital steps in the Solutions Strategy, and supported the Final Statement of the UNHCR Executive Committee High Level Segment refocusing the international community’s attention on the Afghan refugee situation in this critical period.