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Turkey, Pakistan vow to strengthen ties further

In a joint communique, both countries express resolve to explore new avenues for collaboration

Turkey, Pakistan vow to strengthen ties further Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L-2) during a welcoming ceremony at Prime Ministry building in Islamabad, Pakistan on November 17, 2016. ( Kayhan Özer - Anadolu Agency )



Turkey and Pakistan signed a joint communique in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Thursday, formalizing their intent to expand and strengthen bilateral ties in a number of sectors.

The communiqué was announced on the second day of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s official visit to Pakistan.

“Both countries expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved towards transforming warm and cordial bilateral relationship into a strong strategic partnership, and reiterated their mutual resolve to explore new avenues for collaboration, to utilize untapped potential for the mutual benefit and prosperity of the peoples of the two countries,” the communique said.

The Pakistani government denounced the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 that resulted in 248 deaths in the declaration.

Both countries expressed their determination to “continue their strong mutual support for each other on issues of core national interest, and in defense of the peace and prosperity of the two nations,” it said.

They agreed to promote collaboration in energy, infrastructure, agriculture, food processing and housing as priority sectors.

They appreciated the significant progress achieved in the free trade agreement, hoping it would be signed before the start of 2017.

On the defense sector, “Pakistan and Turkey agreed to develop a comprehensive, long-term and forward-looking framework for defense cooperation between the two countries besides broadening the frequency and scope of bilateral consultations on foreign ministers,” it said.

They urged the international community to play its role in mobilizing support and assistance for refugee-hosting countries, including those facing protracted refugee situations.

Both sides also called for the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions to resolve the long-standing disputes on its agenda, especially those pertaining to the Muslim Ummah.

The two sides also expressed commitment to joint initiatives at international forums, in particular at the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. They agreed the assumption of chair of OIC Summit by Turkey presented a valuable opportunity.

International communities were also urged to launch a campaign against Islamophobia and religious discrimination.

“Turkey and Pakistan pledged to initiate common platforms in international areas, notably in the UN and Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” it said.

Reporting by Mumin Altas; Writing by Ahmet Sait Akcay

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