Friday, April 2, 2010

Pakistan and Turkey agree to enhance multi-faceted relations

ISLAMABAD, Apr 2 (APP): Pakistan and Turkey agreed to accord high priority to further enhancement of their multi-faceted and broad-based cooperation in different fields through increased connectivity, promotion of bilateral trade and investment and expansion of people to people contacts.“Both the countries agreed to collaborate closely to upgrade and operationalize road, air and rail connectivity,” said a joint statement issued Friday following the conclusion of four-day state visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Pakistan,According to the statement, both the countries also agreed to commence periodic cargo train service from August this year.

Pakistan and Turkey expressed satisfaction at the ratification and entry into force of the bilateral Road Transport Agreement, which will allow transporters from either country access to territories of Turkey and Pakistan.
They noted with satisfaction the growth in bilateral trade, and reaffirmed their desire to achieve the target of $ 2 billion trade volume by the year 2012, through early finalization of a strategic economic cooperation framework, as well as fast tracked trade facilitation and promotion measures, including early implementation of the ‘Agreement on Abolition of Visas for Businessmen’.
The two sides will enter into bilateral preferential trade arrangements, unleashing free market opportunities in both countries.
They also agreed to work closely to ensuring earliest possible implementation of the ECO Trade Agreement.
The two countries also welcomed the holding of two sessions of Pakistan-Turkey CEOs Forum during the current visit of President Abdullah Gul to Pakistan.
They also agreed to promote cooperation in the financial sector by, inter alia, encouraging Turkish and Pakistani commercial banks and financial institutions to open branches in the two countries.
Pakistan and Turkey also agreed to work jointly for further expansion and consolidation of ECO Trade and Development Bank.
Both the countries welcomed the signing of the memoranda of understanding in the fields of planning, agriculture and investments.
They agreed to formulate a plan of action on cooperation in the field of energy including cooperation in the area of new and renewable energy.
They also decided to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism, with particular emphasis on development of Pakistan’s tourism sector.
Both the countries also agreed to finalize the protocol on the establishment of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) Office in Islamabad at the earliest.
Appreciating Turkey’s special role in promoting peace, security and development in the region, as well as acting as a bridge between the East and the West, both the countries agreed to continue to broaden and deepen security cooperation in their campaigns against terrorism and extremism, illicit arms trafficking, as well as counter narcotics and human smuggling.
In line with the existing Military Cooperation Agreements, they agreed to further intensify ongoing cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan in the area of military training and education, as well as promotion of trade and partnerships in the field of defence production and procurement.
The two sides will continue to promote exchanges of cultural delegations and troupes, organization of cultural events, and examine the possibility of establishing cultural centres. They agreed to further enhance educational scholarships.
Both the countries also agreed to encourage and enhance exchanges among parliamentarians, academia, journalists, think tanks and opinion makers in respective countries.
Pakistan and Turkey also agreed to maintain close contacts and consultations on all issues of mutual interest, and to deepen mutual support at international and regional forums, including the United Nations, OIC and ECO.
They agreed to follow up the outcomes of the Trilateral Summit process between Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan.

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