“JOINT DECLARATION ON PAKISTAN-TURKEY STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY”

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Ankara - Reaffirming close, friendly and brotherly ties which are deeply rooted in history and a shared culture;

Desirous of giving further impetus to the already existing strategic cooperation between two countries, by taking concrete and significant steps in all areas of bilateral cooperation; 

Underlining the common vision of both countries for establishing peace, stability and prosperity in their region; 
            Condemning in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks in both countries, and expressing condolences at the loss of precious lives as a result of such heinous attacks; 
            Reiterating their common resolve to fight the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as the threat of extremism, and to support the relevant initiatives in this regard at regional and international platforms;
            Reiterating strong condemnation of the heinous coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July 2016, paying tribute to the brave and resilient Turkish people who stood resolutely in defence of democracy against the forces of darkness;
            Expressing firm resolve to continue their strong mutual support to each other on issues of core national interest, and in defence of the peace and prosperity of the two nations;
            Taking note of the commitments made in the ‘Joint Declaration on the Future Directions of Pakistan-Turkey Strategic Relationship’ of 17 November 2016;
            Recalling all the previous Joint Declarations signed between the two sides under the framework of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), and the decisions made therein;
            Expressing satisfaction at the progress achieved under the framework of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), and endorsing the outcomes of the meetings of the Joint Working Groups of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council held in Ankara on 22 February 2017;
            We, the Co-chairs of the Fifth Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, held in Ankara, on 23 February 2017, with the participation of Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as other prominent dignitaries and officials have agreed as follows: 

Political Cooperation:

-        The High Level Strategic Cooperation Council shall continue to be the main political forum that guides bilateral relations in all fields.                                                           

-        Effective implementation and follow-up of the decisions taken at the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meetings shall be ensured. To this end, a Political Coordination Joint Working Group shall be formed between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. The Political Coordination Joint Working Group shall be responsible for coordination of the activities of other Joint Working Groups.
-        Intensive exchanges at the leadership level, parliamentarians, businessmen as well as civil society and media representatives shall be furthered. 
-        Close cooperation at regional and international fora, particularly the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and the D-8 Organization, through inter alia mutual support for joint initiatives, policies and candidacies shall be strengthened. 
-        In this context, remaining concerned over attempts to link Islam with terrorism, Pakistan and Turkey share the resolve to continue working together on issues of common interest, including the multilateral initiatives to combat growing trends of racism, Islamophobia, as well as discrimination based on religion and stereotyping against Muslims.
-        Welcome the holding of the 13th ECO Summit on 1st March 2017 in Islamabad as it would contribute towards making ECO more effective, in the goal of realizing prosperity and development by enhancing regional cooperation and collaboration.
-        The consultations covering various fields between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries shall be further intensified and broadened.
-        The need for resolution of all outstanding differences between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through a sustained dialogue process and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions is once more underscored.
-        The need for making the United Nations Security Council more representative, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable through comprehensive United Nations Security Council reform process, based on widest possible consensus is reiterated. 
Security and Defence Cooperation:
-        The military cooperation between the two countries shall continue to be intensified, and be focused on joint defence production and research and development activities.
-        The two sides would expeditiously complete the work on developing a comprehensive, long-term and forward-looking framework for defence cooperation.
-        Cooperation shall be enhanced to further promote global disarmament and non-proliferation objectives which will help safeguard and strengthen international as well as regional security and promote strategic stability, including in each other’s respective regions. In this connection, Turkey appreciates Pakistan’s announcement of adherence to the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which will further the global non-proliferation objective. 
-        Cooperation between the police agencies of the two countries shall continue to be expanded to include the capacity building and police training activities. 
-        Through effective cooperation in combatting against cyber-crimes and transnational organized crimes, mutual information exchange shall be developed to prevent these crimes. 
-        In order to effectively fight against the Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure, the cooperation and information sharing shall be enhanced. 
-        Existing cooperation on implementation of the Agreement on Readmission of Persons Residing without Authorization shall be strengthened, as well as the cooperation on travel documents of irregular migrants exiting from Turkey. 
                                                                 
Energy Cooperation:

-        Enhancement of cooperation in the field of energy is a priority.
-        Cooperation in the fields of coal, electricity transmission and development of the electricity infrastructure shall be further advanced. 
-        Cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons, exploration and production, supply and trade of petroleum products, LNG and petroleum infrastructure development shall be strengthened and cooperation between the relevant organizations shall be encouraged. 
-        The investments of private sector in Pakistan in the field of renewable energy resources, especially in wind and solar energy are welcome and the cooperation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency shall be further developed. 

Trade Cooperation:

-        The efforts towards increasing the current trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan reflecting the level of their excellent political relations and the real potential of their respective economies shall be continued. 
-        Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which covers trade in goods, and services and investment is currently under negotiation between the two countries. Five rounds of negotiations have been held so far. Further discussions will be conducted taking into consideration the sensitivities of economies of both countries. The FTA shall be finalized within the projected timeframe. Its early conclusion will constitute an important step towards the enhancement of trade between the two countries. 

Finance Cooperation:

-        Cooperation in the fields of finance and banking including insurance, capital markets, anti-money laundering, budgeting, financial reporting and auditing shall be enhanced. 
-        Cooperation between two countries in Islamic finance shall be furthered.
-        Exchange of information and experiences between Pakistan Stock Exchange and Borsa Istanbul shall be encouraged. 
-        The development projects in the government of Pakistan's priority sectors will be carried out under US $ 300 million credit line on terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the two sides". 

Transportation and Communication Cooperation:

-        As the number of passengers travelling between two countries is growing welcomingly, necessary arrangements shall be made by increasing the frequency of flights to meet the passenger demand.
-        Islamabad – Tehran – Istanbul (ITI) Container Train Line shall be kept open and matters regarding operation of the train line shall continue to be discussed at the high level working group established for this purpose.
-        The efforts to strengthen the cooperation in road transportation shall be furthered within the framework of the meeting of Joint Commission on Road Transportation that took place in Islamabad on 26-27 July 2016.
-        The cooperation between the postal administrations of two countries shall be intensified to include the fields of e-trade, postal payment systems and to increase the postal dispatches. 
-        “Turk Telecom International” shall continue to cooperate with its Pakistani counterparts to develop the telecommunication infrastructure between two countries.                                                              

Development Cooperation:

-        The projects between TIKA, which has a Program Coordination Office in Islamabad, and its Pakistani counterparts on development of basic education capabilities, water supply and hygiene, enhancement of production infrastructures, capacity building and enhancement in vocational training and health sectors, development of administrative and physical infrastructures shall be continued.
-        Combating the adverse effects of climate change and global warming, cooperation regarding sustainable use of water resources, combating desertification, achieving land degradation neutrality and sustainable land management shall be the main areas in strengthening cooperation in the field of preservation of the environment.
-        Housing Development Administration (TOKI) shall provide necessary assistance to the relevant Pakistani authorities in the field of development of social housing projects, with technical expertise, experience sharing and exchange of experts. 
Agriculture Cooperation:
-        The Action Plan prepared by the Pakistan-Turkey Agriculture Executive Committee shall continue to be implemented and the activities envisaged in the Plan shall be expedited. 
Education and Science Cooperation:
-        Interaction between universities and academic institutions shall be promoted and in this regard, collaboration on higher education scholarships shall be continued. 
-        Turkish Maarif Foundation, with support and cooperation of the Pakistani authorities, will contribute to the development of relations in the field of education between two countries through opening and running schools in Pakistan. 
-        Exchange of information on support and incentives for research and development programs implemented in both countries, enhancement of cooperation in these areas and development of joint projects on technological fields that are of primary importance for both countries shall be promoted.
-        In order to develop the cooperation in the field of science, TUBITAK and Pakistan Science Foundation shall commence bilateral cooperation for funding of projects in 2017. 
-        In the light of the “Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Between The Foreign Service Training Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and the Foreign Service Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”, signed on 25 October 2009, cooperation in the field of training of diplomats by encouraging participation in their existing training programs; organizing bilateral short term programs and study visits for the diplomats of both sides, exchange of information,  best practices, curricula, documentation, teaching material  and conference speakers as appropriate, shall be fostered. 
-        Both sides shall work towards recognizing degrees and diplomas within the framework of the laws and regulations of their countries and exchange necessary information on the subject. 
Cultural and Tourism Cooperation:  
-        On the occasion of 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Pakistan, various cultural activities will be held in both countries throughout 2017. 
-        On the occasion of 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Turkey, a joint commemorative stamp will be issued.
-        Cultural relations between the two countries shall be strengthened through Yunus Emre Cultural Centers which are to commence functions in Karachi and Lahore as well as Pakistani Cultural Centers which are to be established in Turkey. 
-        Organizations including art and art exhibitions (except for those of historical                                                    

heritage), festivals, meetings and conferences which promote cultural events with the participation of cultural delegations shall be supported. 
-        Visits of experts in the fields of archaeology and museums as well as conservation and restoration of archaeological sites, historical sites, historical monuments, museums and conservation laboratories shall be mutually organized. 
-        Translation and publication of classical and contemporary literary works shall be mutually promoted. 
-        In order to strengthen the cooperation in the field of tourism the meetings of “Joint Tourism Commission” shall be held annually. 
-        Strengthening cooperation in the field of press and information, in this context organization of mutual activities in the field of press and information with the participation of both countries’ media institutions and members shall be promoted. Designation of permanent representatives from state agencies as well as private media outlets shall be encouraged. 
-        Renewal of the Cooperation Protocols among Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT), Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) shall re-establish the necessary framework for further cooperation in the field of press and information. 

Follow-Up

            The seven Joint Working Groups of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council shall continue their work to develop specific programmes and projects. 
            In this regard, the Joint Working Groups, will meet before the meetings of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council at least two times in Ankara, in Islamabad, or through video conference. 
            The next meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council shall be held in Islamabad in 2018. The dates shall be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.