Turkish, Pakistani parliamentary speakers meet in Moscow

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 05.07.2019 00:07

The speaker of Pakistan's lower house of parliament stressed Wednesday the need for new partnerships in the region and urged enhanced trade and commerce cooperation with Turkey.

During a meeting with the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Mustafa Şentop in Moscow, Pakistan's National Assembly head Asad Qaiser expressed his gratitude for Turkey's continued support for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Şentop said Kashmir is a "bleeding wound of history" and urged an end to the dispute between India and Pakistan based on U.N. resolutions and a fulfillment of the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Reiterating Turkey's support for the Kashmiris, Şentop said relations between Ankara and Islamabad were "deeply etched in the hearts and minds of the two people."

He added that cooperation between the two nations must be boosted, saying it is to be of the cornerstones of Turkish foreign policy to see a prosperous, peaceful and developed Pakistan.

"The two sides also stressed the need for regional peace and resolved to strengthen the forum of the ‘Speakers Conference of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey,'" he said.

Established upon Pakistan's suggestion in 2017, the forum held its first conference in Islamabad in December that year and is due to meet for a third time in October 2019 in Istanbul.

Şentop acknowledged the Pakistani National Assembly's contributions to regional peace through the establishment of this forum, suggesting its mandate be enhanced.

For his part, Qaiser agreed to discuss the matter in the upcoming Speakers Conference.

Referring to a recent visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Turkey, Qaiser said the two countries needed to translate excellent political cooperation to a vibrant economic partnership.

"Both sides noted that while strategic partnerships between the two countries saw a marked increase in recent years, the same was not reflected in the economic cooperation," Qaiser said, adding that "The volume of bilateral trade, although improved in recent years, still had a great potential for increase on both sides."

He noted that the conclusion of a free trade agreement and removal of double tariffs would boost economic cooperation.

Şentop is set to visit Pakistan this November.

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