Pakistan, Turkey agree to deepen trade, defence relations

* Mamnoon, Erdogan call for resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with will of Kashmiris * Stress efforts for peace and elimination of terrorism in Afghanistan

Pakistan, Turkey agree to deepen trade, defence relations

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday agreed to further expand the mutual cooperation between the two brotherly countries in diverse fields.

They agreed to further deepen the existing cooperation in trade and defence relations, settlement of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions, joint efforts for durable peace in Afghanistan and elimination of terrorism.

The two had one-on-one meeting which was followed by a delegation level meeting at the Presidency.

Mamnoon proposed to conclude a comprehensive and long-term "Framework Agreement for Defence Cooperation" between Pakistan and Turkey, which was agreed by the visiting dignitary.

He expressed satisfaction at Turkey's cooperation for its submarine upgrade and acquiring of Super Mashshak trainer aircraft from Pakistan by Turkey.

Erdogan said that bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries would grow further in the coming days, adding that in that regard all necessary measures would be taken.

The two leaders agreed that Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations. Expressing concern over human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, President Mamnoon Hussain called for an inquiry of these atrocities under the UN auspices.

The president thanked Turkish president on Turkey's support on Kashmir issue and reaffirmed Pakistan's support for Turkey's position on Cyprus. He hoped that the issue would be resolved soon on which the Turkish president thanked the president and the government.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Deputy Secretary General and Spokesperson Ibrahim Kaln, Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and other senior officials were also present.

He noted that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey had declined during the last few years and emphasized the need to enhance it.

Agreeing to the suggestion, Erdogan stressed the need for joint ventures for enhancing bilateral trade and said soon there would be improvement in that regard.

Mamnoon hoped that Turkish investors would invest in Pakistan's energy and infrastructure sectors.

He expressed satisfaction over growing Turkish investment in Pakistan.

The two leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestation and reiterated the resolve that Pakistan and Turkey would continue to cooperate with each other for elimination of terrorism.

Erdogan said the Turkish people would resolutely defeat terrorists belonging to PKK and Daesh.

The Turkish president commended the resolve of Pakistani nation and armed forces in the fight against terrorism and hoped that peace would soon be completely restored in Pakistan.

President Mamnoon proposed to celebrate the 70th year of Pakistan-Turkey diplomatic relations in a befitting manner through exchange of high-level visits, issuance of joint commemorative stamps and cultural exchanges to which the Turkish president agreed.

He apprised his Turkish counterpart about developments related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that this mega project would be a source of progress and stability in South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East.

Erdogan expressed pleasure at fast-paced development of the CPEC and said Turkey believed that the project would become a source of international peace and stability.

Mamnoon praised Turkey's strong support for Pakistan's Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) membership.

He expressed satisfaction that most countries had adopted a constructive and balanced approach for peace in the region but expressed his concern at the biased and discriminatory attitude of few countries over the regional issues which was creating problems.

Earlier, upon arrival, the Turkish dignitary was warmly received by President Mamnoon Hussain at the main entrance of the Presidency.

Children clad in traditional dress presented bouquets to the visiting dignitary.

Mamnoon also hosted a banquet to honour President Erdogan.

Federal ministers, national security adviser, parliamentarians, three services chiefs, governors of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, acting governor Balochistan, chief ministers of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, National Assembly speaker, foreign diplomats and high ranking military and civil officials were also present.

After the banquet, Pakistan Army bands played popular tunes of both countries which were appreciated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his delegation and other guests.

The Turkish president is in Pakistan on a two-day official visit.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Kalsoom Nawaz and Maryam Safdar received the Turkish president and first lady at Nur Khan Airbase.

Erdogan will address a joint parliamentary session on Thursday (today). Erdogan had been to Pakistan on a number of occasions, but this is his first visit after becoming the Turkish president.