Pakistan and Turkey to upgrade strategic partnership

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey have decided to comprehensively upgrade their strategic partnership and intensify political and economic co-operation.

Addressing a news conference along with the visiting Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Gilani said Turkey and Pakistan stand united to defeat terrorism.

Both countries have agreed to increase bilateral trade from $741 million to $2 billion annually in the next couple of years. Turkey and Pakistan have also decided to launch a Chief Executive Officers Forum to increase trade relations.

The Turkish Prime Minister said Turkey and Pakistan are committed to bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He said from November 1, 2009, Turkey will assume command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Replying to a question the Turkish Prime Minister said there are 1,700 Turkish troops in Afghanistan serving under ISAF, and Turkey will not send any more soldiers to Afghanistan.

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