Sharif heads to Turkey for trilateral summit

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Islamabad, Feb 12 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday left for Ankara on a three-day visit to attend the Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Summit, officials said.

The trilateral meeting, an important platform for high-level dialogue, security cooperation, and economic development partnership, was launched in 2007.

The summit is taking place in the backdrop of important political and security transitions in Afghanistan, including presidential and provincial council elections April 5 and the withdrawal of NATO/ISAF forces by Dec 31, 2014, Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by the Pakistan foreign ministry.

The theme of the 8th Trilateral Summit is ‘Sustainable Peace in the Heart of Asia’. The last summit was held in December 2012 in Ankara.

During the summit, Sharif will have extensive interaction with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai.

Senior members of the Prime Minister’s delegation would have meetings with their respective counterparts in trilateral formats.

Separately, the prime minister will meet the Turkish president to review a wide spectrum of bilateral relations with focus on economic cooperation.

In Istanbul, he will be having meetings with the chairmen and chief executives of major Turkish companies.

The Ankara summit would carry forward the process of constructive engagement and leadership exchanges on the evolving situation as well as matters of common interest, the foreign ministry said.

“Pakistan has extended consistent support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. It remains committed to working with Afghanistan as well as the international community for sustainable peace, stability and development in Afghanistan,” it said.

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