Pak, Turkey agree on trilateral summit with Afghanistan

Ankara: Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to organise a trilateral summit with Afghanistan to facilitate the peace process in the war-torn country.

The summit will help solve many problems facing the three countries, said Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan while addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday evening.

 “The people of Afghanistan have been suffering for more than three decades,” said Khan. “We need to make stronger efforts to help with the peace process.” The United States’ Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad travelled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UAE, and Qatar between November 8 and November 20.

Erdogan praised the decision of Pakistan’s Supreme Court to declare Pak-Turk International Cag Education Foundation (PTICEF) as a ‘proscribed organisation’. The court decided to hand over the custody of Pak-Turk schools to the Turkiye Maarif Foundation (TMF). “This is a tremendous development. We want our cooperation to continue,” he said. This brotherhood is very supportive of each other’s problems. Turkey will maintain its relations with Pakistan, he remarked.

“We discussed all dimensions of our relations. We expressed our wishes to hold meetings in Islamabad,” he said.

He congratulated Khan for his “outstanding success” in the July 25 general election. “Khan is also a sportsman who won many matches for his country. We wish the same success in politics too,” he said. “Khan has earned the title of a ‘captain’, I was also the captain of my school’s football team,” he remarked.

Prime Minister Imran Khan remarked that the affiliation between Pakistan and Turkey has always been there. “We want to take it a much higher level.” We want to strengthen our relations with Turkey and improve ties in all spheres, he said.

He expressed his wish to learn from Turkey’s experience to build the low-cost housing scheme in Pakistan. “We plan to build five million houses in five years. There are construction companies here [Turkey], you have built 2m houses recently.”

Khan said that Pakistan wants friendly relations with India. “It’s a bizarre situation, how can you move forward when there is no dialogue?” Pakistan wants stability because we want economic progress, he remarked. “Pakistan stands with Turkey in defeating ISIS.” Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies have done a great job in reducing terrorism to a great extent, he added.