ISLAMABAD (NNI) - President Asif Ali Zardari has underscored the need to focus on economic development and regional security saying that peace and stability in Afghanistan holds key to this end. He was talking to a delegation comprising Ambassadors of Central Asian countries that called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday. Afghan Ambassador Mohammad Umer Daudzai, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Dashgin Mazi Oglu Shikarv, Kazakh Ambassador Bakhitbek Shabarbayed, Kyrgyz Ambassador Orozov Alik Karybaevich, Tajik Ambassador Zbaydullo Zubaydov, Turkmen Ambassador Berdiniyazov Sapar and Uzbek Ambassador Oybek A Usmanov were included in the delegation. Defence Minister Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, Senator Babar Awan, and other senior officials were also present besides Spokesperson to the president Farhatullah Babar. Briefing the media, Farhatullah Babar said that matters concerning mutual relations, peace and stability of the region, need for evolving regional solutions to the regional problems, promoting connectivity in the region and encouraging trade and economic activities were discussed during the meeting. Babar said the president emphasised upon the need for taking advantage of the geographical proximity and forging a mutual partnership that could provide solution to the present issues confronting the states of the region. He said all the countries had rich cultural heritage that they needed to share and pass on to the next generation. The president said Pakistan supported every effort intended towards peace and stability of Afghanistan. He said he supported the Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and would provide all possible help to promote enduring peace and finding permanent solutions to the present issues and challenges. Pakistan was working closely with the Afghan government and other regional and international partners in this regard, he added. The president emphasised the need for economic development of the region. For economic development, he said, we need to focus on regional integration and utilising all available trade avenues including the transit trade agreements to promote mutual trade and boost business activities. The president said we needed to improve our economic and commercial relations by organising business forums and launching joint ventures in various areas of mutual interest. Also, we needed to gear up implantation of decisions taken from the platform of Joint Economic Forum, he added. The president said by improving connectivity and modes of communications, the countries of the region could enhance their trade and economic activities significantly. He said Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location offered the shortest access to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries at Gwadar and Karachi seaports. The president said there was also a need for early implementation of projects that focus on meeting the energy requirements of the countries that were facing severe energy shortages. He said early implementation of projects of electricity transmission lines and gas pipelines would boost the productions in these countries. The president also called upon enhancing mutual cooperation in security and defence paradigm and further strengthening all channels and mechanism to address the issues of drugs and human trafficking. Matters regarding extending mutual cooperation in training programmes for bankers, diplomats, business professionals, armed forces and law enforcing personnel were also discussed during the meeting. Later the ambassadors also attended iftar-dinner.