Turkey-Pakistan ties: Steps in the right directionOctober 27, 2009
Erdogan pledges unwavering support against terrorism
A delegation headed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-i-Sadr yesterday and discussed bilateral relations, their countries’ strategic partnership and ways to enhance economic activities. Briefing the media, Spokesperson former Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President while interacting with the Turkish Prime Minister remarked that Turkey and Pakistan today find themselves at crossroads of history.
While referring to the shared cultural heritage and mutual influences on literature and language, the President emphasized the need to enhance existing relations at all levels including trade, defence, energy, commerce and communication sectors.
(Turkish Prime Minister addresses the Parliament. Click here for details)
The President said, “we attach great importance to the running of fast speed cargo train from Islamabad to Istanbul and that Pakistan is keen to upgrade the road and rail links with Turkey.”
He also invited the Turkish Firms to undertake such projects on BOT basis, Babar informed.
President Zardari while focusing on trilateral summit among Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan reiterated his vision that through mutual cooperation at regional level, issues can be successfully resolved.
The President said Turkey and Pakistan have a major role in promoting regional peace and stability. The President also appreciated Turkey’s initiative of developing a Common Asia Policy and Turkish assistance in upgrading Pakistan’s relations with Central Asian States.
The President said the geo-strategic location of both Pakistan and Turkey are unique and provide an opportunity to both the countries to evolve an effective multidimensional mechanism to address the issues of mutual concerns.
President Zardari appreciated the efforts and commitment of Turkey during the Friends of Pakistan Tokyo Donors Conference. It may be recalled that during the Conference, Turkey pledged $100 million to Pakistan for infrastructure, health and education projects and also called on neighboring countries to make similar commitments.
Babar said the President also called for establishing a framework of preferential trade with Turkey leading to Free Trade Agreement.
Referring to Pakistan-Turkey Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting that agreed to enhance the volume of bilateral trade to US $ 2 billion by 2012, the President said, “we must make all efforts to achieve this target and translate the political relationship into an economic relationship as well.”
It may be noted that currently Pakistani exports include rice, sesame seeds, leather, textiles, fabrics, sports goods, and medical equipment.
Turkey’s exports to Pakistan include wheat, chickpeas, lentils, diesel, chemicals, transport vehicles, machinery and energy products. Turkish private corporations have also invested significantly in industrial and construction projects developing highways, pipelines and canals.
The President welcomed the Turkish investors to utilize investment opportunities in Pakistan, especially in the fields of energy, infrastructure, textiles, engineering goods, mining and agriculture. The President also appreciated first ever session of Pakistan-Turkey CEOs forum. The President said through enhanced corporate sector cooperation, both the countries stand to gain a lot.
The President said Pakistan and Turkey need to strengthen their cultural relations by encouraging greater people-to-people contact, exchange of students, media persons and intellectuals.
Turkish Prime Minister thanked the President for the warm welcome that was extended to him and his delegation by the people and the government of Pakistan.
He said the contours of our relationship have been defined by common cultural heritage and shared values rooted in history.
Turkey would extend all possible help to Pakistan to overcome it current difficulties on domestic fronts especially in economic realm and in its ongoing struggle against militancy.
Turkish delegation included Ahmet Davutoglu Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mehmet Aydin Minister of Science and Technology, Zafer Caglayan Minister of Foreign Trade, Taner Yildiz Minister of Energy and Mustafa Babur Ambassador.
From Pakistani side, Makhdoom Amin Faheem Federal Minister for Trade and Commerce, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi Foreign Minister, Shaukat Tarin Minister for Finance, Rehman A. Malik Interior Minister, Tariq Azizuddin Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey, Secretary General to the President Salman Faruqui and other senior officials participated in the meeting.