Pakistan, Turkey to bolster trade, defence ties

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Islamabad, Dec 3 (UNI) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul have underscored the need of further developing bilateral trade, investment, economic and defence production cooperation between their countries.

They said this in a joint press statement after their talks hours after Mr Gul flew into Islamabad on a first-ever visit after his election as President.

President Musharraf said they had in-depth interaction on all important regional and international issues and bilateral relations as well as Pakistan's democratic transition.

They also exchanged views on restructuring of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its importance for the Muslim world.

The President said he emphasised the importance of Pakistan's geo strategic location to serve as a trade and energy corridor and the necessity of fighting terrorism, harmonising the situation in Afghanistan.

He said the talks covered the tension between Iran and the United States and Pakistan's efforts to normalise relations with India.

He expressed Pakistan's gratitude to Turkey for the support that Ankara has always given on Kashmir dispute, support in cash and kind in education sector as well as for the reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas.

Mr Gul said Turkey and Pakistan have deep rooted brotherly relations and he always felt at home when in Pakistan.

He said the most outstanding characteristic of ties between the two countries is that these are not only on government to government but also people to people level.

He described the talks with President Musharraf on various issues as extremely fruitful and congratulated President Musharraf for assuming the presidency for the second term as a civilian leader.

Mr Gul said he was the first head of state to visit Pakistan and congratulate President Musharraf.

He said Pakistan and Turkey share similar views on regional and international issues. Turkey as a member of the OIC contact Group on Kashmir wants ''a solution of the Kashmir issue on the basis of international legitimacy.'' Earlier, President Pervez Musharraf and Turkish President Abdullah Gul held one on one meeting.

The two leaders discussed regional and international issues of vital importance besides further strengthening the bilateral ties in economic, trade and commerce sectors.

UNI

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