ISTANBUL:(APS)APRIL 15,2016-During his stay in Istanbul for the 13th OIC Summit, President Mamnoon Hussain had a range of bilateral meetings and interactions on the sidelines. On these occasions, views were exchanged on bilateral cooperation and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The first in this context was the President’s meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately after arrival in Istanbul on 13 April 2016. Extending a warm welcome, President Erdogan thanked the President for participating in the OIC Summit, taking place at time of serious challenges for the Muslim World. The President felicitated President Erdogan on hosting the OIC Summit and extended best wishes for its successful conclusion as well as for Turkey’s leadership of the OIC at this crucial juncture. The two leaders reiterated the strong mutual support and solidarity in the face of recent terrorist attacks in Turkey and Pakistan and reiterated the resolve to defeat the scourge of terrorism through resolute action. The centrality of deeper Pakistan-Turkey economic cooperation was underlined, with both sides emphasizing the need for the earliest conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for which the “Framework Agreement” was signed in Islamabad on 22 March 2016. Ways to deepen the participation of Turkish companies in diverse sectors in Pakistan — from energy and infrastructure to aviation and low-cost housing — were underlined. The President thanked Turkey for its consistent support for the Kashmir cause and reiterated Pakistan’s support to Turkey on the Northern Cyprus issue. The two Presidents also exchanged views on regional issues, including Afghanistan and the Middle East.
During the President’s meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the abiding strength and closeness of Pakistan-Turkey relations was again emphasized and the determination to transform these cordial ties into a robust, multi-dimensional partnership was reaffirmed. Both sides noted the highly damaging effect of extremism and terrorism on Muslim countries and stressed the importance of concerted endeavours to combat this menace, while simultaneously fighting phenomena like Islamophobia. The President highlighted Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace and stability, including support for the Afghan peace and reconciliation process. Prime Minister Davutoglu extended his best wishes for such endeavours and reiterated Turkey’s readiness to continue to help reinforce the process of peace and development in Afghanistan. Views were also exchanged on intensifying Pakistan-Turkey economic ties including through early conclusion of the FTA, regular high-level exchanges, and advancement of bilateral cooperation in diverse fields through the HLSCC (High Level Strategic Cooperation Council) process.
In the meeting between President Mamnoon Hussain and Chief Executive of Afghanistan Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the mutual commitment to work together to address common challenges was reaffirmed. The President underlined the importance Pakistan attached to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and highlighted the efforts being made for the promotion of the Afghan reconciliation process, including through the Quadrilateral mechanism. The two sides also discussed high level exchanges, including the upcoming visit of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to Pakistan, as a means to intensify and reinforce efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
In his meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, President Mamnoon Hussain shared Pakistan’s desire for closer economic ties between the two countries. The ongoing visit of the Minister of Industries of Pakistan to Belarus was highlighted. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the rapid growth of bilateral cooperation in recent years — with frequent high-level exchanges and conclusion of agreements for enhanced collaboration in different fields. The two sides further agreed on systematic follow-up of these agreements and decided to undertake a regular review of implementation and progress. The President invited President Lukashenko to look into vast opportunities for beneficial economic collaboration in the industrial, technical, agricultural and other fields offered by rapid growth in Pakistan including in Punjab. It was agreed to sustain this process through high level exchanges.
Pakistan-Niger cooperation in political and economic domains was focused during the call on the President by Prime Minister Brigi Rafini. Both sides affirmed the desire to intensify mutual collaboration. The President also stressed the importance of educational and cultural cooperation and offered training assistance in various fields for further human resource development in Niger. The President also thanked Niger for its consistent support on the Kashmir issue and active role in the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Brigi Rafini conveyed the cordial greetings of the President of Niger, expressed solidarity with Pakistan in the face of recent terrorist attacks, and thanked for Pakistan’s support in Niger’s development efforts as well as for recent gift of rice. Both sides agreed to maintain regular high-level contacts.