Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the 13th ECO Summit

ISLAMABAD: A meeting was held on Tuesday between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who arrived in Islamabad to attend the 13 Session of the ECO Summit.

While discussing bilateral relations, the two leaders expressed satisfaction over the growing strategic partnership marked by deepening of cooperation in diverse fields.

The two leaders recalled a highly successful visit of the Prime Minister to Turkey last week for participation in the 5th session of High level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in which they had signed a s comprehensive Joint Declaration and 9 agreements and MoUs for strengthening cooperation in different areas.

Regarding terrorism as a common threat for regional and global peace, both leaders reiterated firm commitment and resolve to eliminate this scourge and the need of cooperation among states to achieve this objective.

The two leaders reaffirmed their shared vision for forging a strong economic partnership between the two countries that was commensurate with the excellent political ties. In this regard, they reiterated their understanding reached during the HLSCC meeting in Ankara to expedite the negotiations for conclusion of the Free Trade Area (FTA) by may 2017 to give a boost to bilateral trade and economic interaction.

The Prime Minister welcomed the increasing interest of Turkish companies for investing in Pakistan in a wide range of projects particularly in energy, transport and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister appreciated Turkey’s continued support for the struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination.

The two leaders also reviewed significant progress being made in the defence cooperation and collaboration between the two countries.