Pakistan, Turkiye agree to take bilateral trade to $5 billion

PM Shehbaz invites Turkish companies to expand cooperation in trade, investment, technology and defence fields  Visiting Turkish FM meets PM, foreign minister; calls Pakistan a strategic partner.

ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistan and Turkiye have agreed to undertake concerted efforts for achieving the bilateral trade target of $5 billion in the next three years as already agreed by the leadership of the two brotherly countries.

The agreement emerged during a meeting between visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye, Hakan Fidan, and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif here on Monday.

While underscoring the special bonds of brotherhood between Pakistan and Türkiye, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm commitment to further expansion of bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries, in all areas of mutual interest, including trade, investment, technology and defence.

The PM said the current level of bilateral trade is not commensurate with the existing bilateral ties.  He invited Turkish companies to further expand their investment portfolios in Pakistan. Turkish companies may consider relocating their industrial units to Pakistan, he added.

Regional and global developments, particularly the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza, also came under discussion.

The prime minister appreciated President Erdogan’s staunch advocacy for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and lasting peace in Middle East.

The prime minister stressed the urgency and importance realization of the two-state solution as the key to attainment of durable peace in the Middle East.

He also reiterated his cordial invitation to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to undertake an early official visit to Pakistan for co-chairing with Prime Minister the 7th meeting of High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

Both the sides reaffirmed their strong and abiding support to each other on the core issues of national interest.

Earlier, addressing a joint press conference here, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar also showed commitment to take volume of bilateral trade to $5 billion, reflecting both countries’ determination to enhance economic collaboration.

The two allies reiterated their commitment to strengthening their bilateral relationship, particularly in the economic sector.

Dar highlighted the enduring strategic partnership between the two nations. He said Pakistan and Turkiye were two countries but one nation.

FM Fidan reciprocated these sentiments, emphasizing the shared resolve of Pakistan and Turkey to combat Islamophobia and promote mutual prosperity.

He revealed ambitious plans to boost bilateral trade to an impressive $5 billion, reflecting both countries’ determination to enhance economic collaboration and called Pakistan a strategic partner.

Both the sides reaffirmed their longstanding cooperation in defense and other vital sectors.

Fidan conveyed Turkey’s condolences for the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and others, expressing solidarity with the Iranian people during their time of mourning.

Discussions also addressed pressing regional issues, including the situations in Afghanistan and Gaza. Pakistan and Turkey condemned the actions of Israel and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Fidan emphasised the importance of utilizing diplomatic channels to effectively address the Gaza crisis.

Significantly, both states reiterated their strong opposition to providing military and political support to Israel and emphasized the necessity of a two-state solution to resolve the Gaza conflict.

Fidan stressed that recognizing Palestine is crucial for achieving justice in the region and urged the international community to learn from past mistakes and oppose human rights violations.

In a comprehensive meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Dar and Fidan reviewed bilateral relations and agreed to enhance cooperation in trade, investment, defense, and security.

They also discussed preparations for the upcoming 7th session of the Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in Islamabad.

Deputy Prime Minister Dar praised Turkey’s steadfast support for the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and reiterated Pakistan’s support for the legitimate rights of Northern Cyprus.

The ministers also discussed global and regional developments, particularly the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, advocating for an urgent and unconditional ceasefire and the provision of humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian people.

They underscored the need for an independent Palestinian state for lasting peace in the Middle East and addressed the importance of combating Islamophobia in a comprehensive manner.

The Foreign Office said the relationship between Pakistan and Turkey is characterized by deep-rooted bonds of friendship and brotherhood based on shared history, culture, and religion. Regular dialogue and high-level visits are a testament to the robust bilateral relations between the two nations.

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