International Affairs Pak Affairs

Zardari for up-gradation of Pak-Turk rail link

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday called for up gradation of the Pak-Turkey rail link for increased trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. He was talking to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Briefing the media spokesman to the President Farhatullah Babar said the President reiterated the proposal of up-gradation of railway line between the two countries and urged the Turkish Prime Minister to seriously consider the proposal. He said that Pakistan was eager to further enhance mutual cooperation between the two countries for taking maximum advantage of the existing potential of the two countries and to fully translate their equation into a strategic partnership.

He said that railway line up-gradation project between the two countries was one such step for not only speedy transportation of the cargo but would also open new vistas of opportunities for the people and would contribute towards economic development. The President said there was a need to urgently evaluate similar projects so as to move forward on vigorously pursuing the raising of finances.

He also suggested a currency swap agreement between the two countries to facilitate business, trade and commerce.
Babar said the President also felicitated Turkish Prime Minister on the vote for a series of democratic measures in the recently held referendum.

He hailed the verdict on reform package as a triumph of democracy and democratic processes and recalled recent democratic reform in the shape of 18th Constitutional Amendment in Pakistan. The President also appreciated Turkish Government’s generous assistance, both in cash and kind, for providing relief to flood-hit people of Pakistan and also its pledge to actively participate in reconstruction and rehabilitation activities for the flood affected people. He said the government and people of Pakistan greatly value sensitivity and the support of the Turkish people and government at this hour of distress.

The President said both the countries need to aim at increasing their trade and investments equations and further cooperate especially in transport, telecommunications, manufacturing, tourism and other industries. Discussing regional situation, the President said that Turkey has an important role to play for not only bringing in socio-economic development in the region but also for stability of the region. He said that regional issues can be addressed by regional powers and finding indigenous solutions.

Prime Minister Erdogan thanked the President for the warm welcome and said that Turkey would continue to support Pakistan and its people at every critical moment and would actively participate in the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase for the flood affected. He said that the Turkish government would consider the proposal of Currency Swap Agreement.

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrived here from Multan on Wednesday evening. He was accompanied by Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, and federal ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rehman Malik, Syed Naveed Qamar and Sardar Asef Ahmed Ali. The Turkish Prime Minister was received at the Karachi Airport by Sindh Governor, Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, ministers and advisers as well as senior officials.

Later, Recep Tayyap Erdogan accompanied by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and federal ministers left by helicopter to visit the flood affected area in District Thatta. The Turkish Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Meanwhile Lauding Turkey’s role during devastation caused by floods in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari has said Islamabad will further bolster its trade and economic ties with Ankara. President Zardari said that Pakistan considered Turkey its brother country and because of it Turkey sent aid for the assistance of floods hit people in Pakistan immediately after the recent foods. President said relations with Turkey would be strengthening in almost every area with special reference in the trade and economic sectors.

Turkish Prime Minister said government and people of the Turkey were stand along with the government and people of Pakistan in the present time of crisis. Turkish Premier added Turkish government and people had played its role in providing aid and assistance for the floods hit people in Pakistan.-SANA

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Mubashar Nizam

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