ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkiye on Monday agreed to further enhance cooperation in multiple areas by setting a new target of increasing bilateral trade volume to $5 billion from the existing $1 billion.

The understanding was reached during delegation-level bilateral talks between the two countries in which the Pakistani side was led by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and the Turkish side was represented by visiting Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.

During the talks, the two sides also agreed to hold the next session of the Pakistan-Turkiye High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in the near future in Islamabad.

Later, in a joint press stakeout, the Turkish foreign minister said Pakistan is Turkiye’s strategic partner and the joint cooperation supports regional peace and stability.

During the delegation-level talks, he said the two sides held comprehensive discussions and identified the ways to strengthen ties and exploit the potential besides the steps to take the bilateral trade to $5 billion from the existing $1 billion.

Joint efforts necessary to boost trade ties with Pakistan: Turkish envoy

“Both sides decided in principle to broaden and strengthen ties not only in areas of trade and investment but also in defence, banking, science and technology, and innovation,” the Turkish foreign minister said.

He said Pakistan constituted its strategic importance based on its geographical location, bordering China, the Arabian Sea and it was also in the junction of major economies and energy-rich countries.

On the other hand, he added that Pakistan had an important role in terms of global security as it was neighbouring Afghanistan.

“But Pakistan’s importance for us is totally different because there is an unshakeable friendship and brotherhood between the people of our two countries rooted in history,” he said, adding the two sides would continue to support each other.

He further stated that during the delegation-level talks, the two sides discussed all the issues of mutual interest and also reviewed preparations for holding the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting.

He also stated that Turkiye stood by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and that his country supported all counterterrorism measures of Pakistan.

About Afghanistan, he said the situation in Afghanistan also impacted Pakistan and both Turkiye and Pakistan expressed their common desire for permanent peace and stability in the country.

Discussing the Palestine situation, he said the two sides held comprehensive consultations on the situation in Gaza, adding Israel had crossed all the redlines set by human conscience by committing the worst human rights violations in Gaza. He said there was an immediate need for a ceasefire, access to humanitarian assistance and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

About the helicopter crash of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, he described the incident as unfortunate and expressed his condolences to the people and the government of Iran. He said Turkiye mobilised its resources to support the rescue operation of Iran in tracing the ill-fated helicopter.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said the two countries were planning to hold the next session of Pakistan-Turkiye High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in the near future in Islamabad.

He said the Council meeting would carry out a comprehensive review of the ongoing cooperation as well as bilateral strategic economic framework.

“There is also a history of Pakistan-Turkiye collaboration in defence-related projects. We are working on various joint ventures and continue to support each other to defend our territorial sovereignty and in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

He said the two countries had always supported each other on core issues and assisted during natural calamities.

Dar further stated that during the talks, the two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation including trade, investment, connectivity and defence. He added that the bilateral cooperation in all areas was improving and measures were being taken to take the trade volume to $5 billion.

Expressing his gratitude to Turkiye for its firm and consistent support to the oppressed people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Dar said Pakistan would continue to support the legitimate struggle of the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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