President Mamnoon Hussain and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday urged the need of a joint strategy to tackle various challenges faced by the Muslim ‘Ummah’.
The two leaders, who met here on the sidelines of the 13th Islamic Summit of the 56-member Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) being hosted by Turkey from April 10 to 15, also discussed the matters of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
President Mamnoon and President Erdogan also agreed to further strengthen the bilateral ties and cooperation in diverse areas, including trade, economy, energy, infrastructure etc for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly nations. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Sohail Mehmood and senior officials were also present in the meeting.
President Mamnoon described the current volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey at $694 million as “very low” and urged the need to take the trade to the level that commensurate with the close political ties. He appreciated the growing participation of Turkish companies in energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan.
The President highlighted the huge opportunities that existed in Pakistan in aviation, low-cost housing, food processing and other sectors and sought Turkish investment in those areas.
He appreciated the Government of Turkey for cooperation in the field of defence. The President highly appreciated Turkey’s active role in the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir and the arrangements made by Turkey for its meeting in Istanbul. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support on issues of vital importance to Turkey, including Northern Cyprus.
The President also urged the need of efforts for maintaining unity and solidarity among the OIC member states. He appreciated Turkey’s hosting of the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23-24 and assured the Turkish President that Pakistan would be well-represented at the Summit.
President Mamnoon later also attended a dinner hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the heads of delegations on board Savorana Presidential Boat.