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Pakistan to expand cooperation with Turkiye

ISLAMABAD, May 20 (KUNA) -- Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif on Monday has reaffirmed Pakistan's firm commitment to further expand bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Turkiye in all areas of mutual interest, including trade, investment, technology and defense, said a statement by PM House.
While talking to the visiting Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan here in Islamabad, the PM said the current level of bilateral trade is not commensurate with the existing bilateral ties. He emphasized to undertake concerted efforts for achieving the bilateral trade target of USD 5 billion in the next three years as already agreed by the leadership of the two brotherly countries. He invited Turkish companies to further expand their investment portfolio in Pakistan and consider relocating their industrial units to Pakistan. During the meeting, regional and global developments, particularly the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza, also came under discussion. The Prime Minister appreciated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's staunch advocacy for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and lasting peace in the Middle East. He stressed the urgency and importance of realization of the two-state solution as the key to attainment of durable peace in the Middle East. Both sides reaffirmed their strong and abiding support to each other on the core issues of national interest.
Moreover, during the delegation level talks between the two countries in Islamabad on Monday, Pakistan and Turkey have decided to take the volume of their bilateral trade to USD 5 billion. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar represented the Pakistani delegation while the Turkish side was led by its Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. Addressing a joint news conference along with the Turkish Foreign Minister after the meeting, Dar said the two countries are also planning to hold the next session of Pakistan Turkiye High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in the near future. He said this Council meeting will carry out a comprehensive review of the ongoing cooperation as well as bilateral strategic economic framework. The Deputy Prime Minister said there is also a history of Pakistan-Turkiye collaboration in defense related projects and 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 the two countries have always supported each other on core issues and assisted during natural calamities. Expressing his gratitude to Turkiye for its firm and consistent support to the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Deputy PM said Pakistan will continue to support the legitimate struggle of the people of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. He said Pakistan and Turkiye are two countries but one nation, adding that the heart to heart relationship between our two peoples existed prior to the establishment of Pakistan. On the occasion, the Turkish Foreign Minister said Pakistan is our strategic partner and our cooperation supports regional peace and stability. He said this is an unshakeable friendship and brotherhood rooted in history. He said Turkiye stands by Pakistan in their fight against terrorism. Describing his meeting with Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar as fruitful, the Turkish Foreign Minister said the two sides have taken a principle decision to strengthen their relations not only in trade, but also in defense, investment, banking, science and technology. The two Foreign Ministers voiced serious concerns over the situation in Gaza and called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and provision of humanitarian relief to the Palestinian people. (end) sbk.aa