Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:24:28
Zardari, Erdogan discuss bilateral matters, international situation
BAKU (Azerbaijan), Oct 16 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari
and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on the sidelines
of 12th ECO summit here and held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues, peace process in Afghanistan and
the situation in Middle East particularly Syria.
The President said that both Pakistan and Turkey need to
coordinate closely on the deteriorating situation in Syria as it has
serious implications for the entire Middle Eastern region.
He said that Pakistan has already condemned the reprehensible
act of cross border shelling in which Turkish citizens lost their
lives and also expressed Pakistan's full support and solidarity with
Turkey on this grave incident.
The President said that Pakistan's position, in this regard is
based on the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial
integrity and added that as stable democracies both Pakistan and
Turkey were well placed to play a constructive role at the present
The President said that Pakistan appreciates the democratic
transformations in the Middle East and the broader Islamic World and
believed that this transformation should be in accordance with the
aspirations of the people.
Appreciating Turkey's constructive role in Afghanistan, the
President said that both countries needed to intensify their
cooperation, both bilaterally as well as under the trilateral
mechanism to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of
The President also inquired about President Gul's health and
prayed for his full recovery.
President Zardari said that both Pakistan and Turkey should
create facilitative mechanism and opportunities for their private
sectors in order to achieve the mutually agreed trade target of
$ 2 billion and called for fast tracking the conclusion of
Pakistan-Turkey Preferential Trade Agreement.
The President said that he was glad to know that Turkish banks
are opening more branches in Pakistan, adding that it was also
encouraging that our private sectors are collaborating in the
energy, construction, food processing and rubber industries.
The President during the meeting invited Turkish investment
in key sectors such as infrastructure, housing, engineering, energy,
agriculture, telecommunications and mining.
The President said that Pakistan was keenly interested in the
"Gul train" project and thanked the Turkish Prime Minister for his
personal interest in Gul Train project and stressed for collective
work on generating more cargo load for this train.
Commenting on issues of Ummah, the President said that these
are defining times for the Islamic Ummah as we are facing
unprecedented challenges from Afghanistan to North Africa and the
entire Middle East and these unprecedented circumstances demand
extraordinary vision and leadership on our part.
Turkish Prime Minister assured full support and cooperation to
Pakistan in all areas and appreciated the sacrifices made by
Pakistan in the fight against militancy and terrorism. He also
assured assistance to Pakistan in its efforts in the war against
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the close cooperation at
various levels between Pakistan and Turkey would further strengthen
bilateral relations particularly trade and investment ties. The two
leaders hoped for early implementation of bilateral agreements
signed during Turkish Prime Minister's recent visit to Pakistan.
Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, foreign minister was also present
during the meeting.