Pakistani president begins 4-day visit to Turkey

15:47, April 11, 2011      

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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is to start a four-day official visit to Turkey on Monday for talks on bilateral and regional matters, officials said.

Official sources said that the president left for Dubai late Sunday night and will proceed to Turkey from there.

During the visit, Zardari will meet Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mehmet Ali Sahin, officials said. He will also interact with parliamentarians, business community, think-tanks and the media.

The president in his meetings with the Turkish leadership will take stock of bilateral relations, discuss ways and means to strengthen economic and commercial relations with focus on up- grading rail, road, and air links. The proposed Gul cargo train service will come under discussion, which will help Pakistan export goods to Europe.

Recent developments in the region, focusing on North Africa, would also be discussed between the leaders, officials said.

The two sides will also review the trilateral process with Afghanistan, launched in 2007 to push Afghanistan and Pakistan to enhance cooperation against insurgents.

At a similar summit last year, leaders of the three countries had agreed on the opening of an office of Afghan Taliban for possible dialogue process.

Pakistani and Turkish leaders will explore ways to further boost bilateral trade and take the current volume of 690 million U. S. dollars to one billion dollars.

"President Zardari's visit will give a new momentum to bilateral relations especially in the fields of economy and trade as well as enhancing connectivity," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said.

"Both Pakistan and Turkey are determined to take their historic partnership to new heights and build quality and content through their mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation," a statement said.

Source: Xinhua
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