'Brothers' agree to boost Afghan peace efforts
13 December, 2012
ANKARA: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey on Wednesday reiterated their determination to intensify the cooperation among the three countries in Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation efforts and address the security challenges affecting the region.
Reiterating the crucial importance of regional cooperation for addressing regional challenges, they expressed their resolve to foster connectivity among the institutions of the three brotherly countries. A joint statement issued following the 7th Trilateral Summit of the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey called for connectivity among the three brotherly countries, at the level of their people, institutions, infrastructures and economies.
The statement said that the hotline recently established among the presidential offices sets a concrete example in this regard. Recognising the common challenge posed by terrorism, extremism and narcotics trafficking as a major threat to regional peace, security and stability, the joint statement, especially, denounced strongly the recent terrorist attacks on Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security chief Asadullah Khalid and on Malala Yousufzai, and wished them both a speedy recovery.
A joint working group comprising relevant agencies of Afghanistan and Pakistan will address the attack on Khalid. The three sides welcomed the progress achieved in the Istanbul Process for a secure and stable Afghanistan and reiterated their strong commitment to the process as a regional political dialogue platform and the development of confidence-building measures within its framework.
A trilateral memorandum of understanding was signed between the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote and facilitate trade and economic cooperation among the three countries to the mutual interest. The MoU on economic and commercial cooperation provides for the establishment of Trilateral Trade Council, which will work for promotion of foreign investment, enhancing and diversifying commercial ties and exploring possibilities for cooperation in services sectors among the three countries.
The MoU will also facilitate the exchange of information, particularly concerning their respective legislation on trade and economic activities. The "Trilateral Trade Council" aimed at capacity-building would provide a useful platform for the three countries to discuss advancement of regional, bilateral and trilateral cooperation, besides sharing practices on the issues of commercial and economic relations, trade-policy matters and trade facilitation among the three countries.
The Trilateral Trade Council will be convened annually or when the parties deem it necessary more often, alternately in Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Under the framework of Council, the three governments have agreed to provide the necessary facilities to the businessmen of the three countries to increase trade and to resolve the issues that may emerge in this regard.
The entrepreneurs and organisations of the three countries would also be encouraged to participate in exhibitions, fairs and other promotional activities as well as to promote the exchange of trade delegations and business representatives.