Turkey, Pakistan voice joint resolve against 'terrorism'

- Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu meets his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad.

ISLAMABAD (AA) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday that Turkey and Pakistan will continue their cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terror and Islamophobia all around the world.

"We have a common position regarding terrorism and all Islamophobic attacks in different parts of the world," he told a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the capital Islamabad.

The remarks came following the fourth meeting of the Turkey-Pakistan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, co-chaired by Davutoglu and Sharif at the Pakistani Prime Ministerial Residence.

Davutoglu emphasized that it was high time for all humanity to work shoulder to shoulder against any type of racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic tendencies.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif added that his country and Turkey would, together, continue to fight terrorism in all its forms.

Similarly, he said, they also reject Islamophobia and attempts to blaspheme Holy Prophet Muhammad.

Davutoglu also announced an additional $20 million of assistance for temporarily displaced Pakistani people due to terrorism and flood.

Sharif informed his Turkish counterpart about his country’s willingness and efforts to normalize relations with India, and find a peaceful resolution in the dispute over Kashmir, which has already triggered two full-fledged wars between the India and Pakistan.

During their private meeting, the Pakistani prime minister also shared details of ongoing cooperation with neighboring Afghanistan with regards to joint action against militancy and terrorism in the region.

He termed the results of the joint cooperation with Afghanistan encouraging and positive.

Davutoglu stressed the importance of peace and stability in Pakistan's neighbor Afghanistan for both Pakistan and Turkey.

"Next month our ministers of foreign affairs will meet again and a trilateral summit will be held in Turkey as soon as possible," he said.

The Turkish prime minister said they had talked about finalizing a free trade agreement with Islamabad in the coming months.

"We realized that there was a slight decrease in our trade volume which we want to be at least $3 billion in the next two years and up to $10 billion afterwards," he said.

The trade volume between the two countries was $695.3 million in 2014, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Davutoglu mentioned a targeted transportation cooperation, saying, "Because of geographical distance (between Turkey and Pakistan), we need to have much more efficient transportation linkages. So we want to have more frequent flights from Turkish Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines." 

The Turkish premier said they had signed 11 additional memoranda of understanding and agreements, for a total of 41, in various areas ranging from energy to transportation.

Sharif said he appreciated Turkey’s economic progress and growth under the incumbent leadership, and dubbed it as a role model for developing countries.

He observed that holding the presidency of the G20 was yet another milestone in the Turkey’s economic development.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu also met Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif and discussed regional and bilateral security issues as well as defense cooperation, according to a statement from the Office of the Pakistani Army.

The Turkish premier will also be received by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain.

On Wednesday, Davutoglu is scheduled to proceed to Lahore, the country’s second largest city and its cultural hub.

The High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) was established at the Prime Ministerial level in October 2009. It has had three sessions so far: in Ankara in December 2010; Islamabad in May 2012; and Ankara in September 2013.

At the 3rd session in 2013, the Council was renamed as “High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC)” to reflect the strategic nature of the relationship. 


Anadolu Agency correspondent Aamir Latif contributed to this story from Karachi.


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