Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan seek to boost ties

Monitoring Desk

BAKU: Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pak-istan agreed on Thursday to develop partnership to ach-ieve stability in the region.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov and Pakistan’s Khawaja Asif held a first trilateral meeting in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, where they agreed a joint statement.

According to the statement, the ministers expressed their strong interest in developing trilateral partnerships to advance stability, security and prosperity.

They confirmed respect and support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders of states and “stressed that their territories shall not be used for activities against each other”.

The ministers also reiterated the firm determination of their states to explore ways to develop trilateral cooperation in areas that would bring prosperity to the people.

They decided to intensify all efforts to improve their economic cooperation to meet potential in promoting investments and trade.

They agreed to hold a next trilateral meeting in Pakistan in 2018.

Also, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan discussed ways to enhance relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

“At this meeting, we evaluate how to boost our relations and in what areas we should pay attention to,” Cavusoglu said.

The minister’s remarks came at a news conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov and Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif in the Azerbaijani capital Baku after the first trilateral meeting. Cavusoglu said it was “important” to strengthen economic ties among the countries, adding:

“For this, we need to remove obstacles to trade and it is beneficial for us to sign the trade agreements as soon as possible.”

He added Ankara, Baku and Islamabad can develop relations in military and defense fields, saying: “We see that we are not competitors in these areas, rather complements.”

Cavusoglu said three countries should be in solidarity on the Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Kashmir issue and the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Mammadyarov said the ministers discussed several fields, including economy and counter-terrorism.

“We also discussed the conflicts in the region. We recognize that the conflicts are undermining the stability and security,” he said.

Mammadyarov said the next trilateral meeting will be held next year in Pakistan.

“This meeting was a very good base and we define the areas where our cooperation can further go on,” he said.

Asif dubbed the meeting “fruitful”.

“This was the first trilateral meeting and we have agreed to pursue this platform more vigorously and make this platform more vibrant so that the three countries can benefit from their mutual reliable resources,” Asif said.

He added there was a “huge” potential of making relationship more meaningful and beneficial.

On Friday, Cavusoglu will attend the seventh Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Baku.


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