Pakistan, Turkiye target $5b bilateral trade; call for permanent Gaza ceasefire

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Pakistan, Turkiye target $5b bilateral trade; call for permanent Gaza ceasefire

Faisal Sheikh

ISLAMABAD, MAY 20: Pakistan and Turkiye on Monday promised to boost their cooperation across various areas, aiming to increase their yearly trade from $1 billion to $5 billion.

After their extensive talks, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan shared with the media that they reviewed their cooperation in trade, investment, connectivity, and defense.

Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar mentioned that their cooperation was improving in all areas, and they were taking steps to ramp up trade to $5 billion.

Calling Pakistan and Turkiye “two countries and one nation,” Dar highlighted their strong ties, marked by high-level visits and exchanges.

They also discussed the upcoming Pakistan-Turkiye High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) meeting in Islamabad, which will review their strategic economic framework.

Dar noted their history of defense cooperation and mutual support during national crises.

He highlighted their joint efforts against Islamophobia, leading to the OIC appointing Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Mehmet Pacaci as a special envoy on the issue.

Dar thanked Turkiye for its support on Kashmir and reiterated Pakistan’s backing of Northern Cyprus.

On the Gaza situation, both leaders stressed the need for a permanent ceasefire and an independent Palestine state for lasting peace in the Middle East.

Referring to the tragic helicopter crash in Iran, which killed President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Dar called it a “very sad day” for the Muslim Ummah. He said the talks began with condolences and prayers for the victims.

Hakan Fidan described Pakistan as a strategic partner of Turkiye, emphasizing their unbreakable friendship and mutual support.

The talks focused on ways to strengthen ties and boost trade to $5 billion. They agreed to enhance cooperation in trade, defense, investment, banking, science, technology, and innovation.

Fidan mentioned that the situation in Afghanistan affects Pakistan, and both countries want lasting peace and stability there.

Discussing Palestine, he condemned Israel’s human rights violations in Gaza and agreed to work closely with international partners, including the OIC, on the issue.