World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Friday said today's summit meeting in Istanbul between Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan highlighted the strong faith in cooperation.
"The level we have reached in this tri-lateral process is a mark of the solid faith and the confidence our peoples and state institutions have in the cooperation between our three countries," Gul told the meeting at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace.
Gul said the cooperation process made a comprehensive progress since it was launched in April 2007, adding that cooperation had produced concrete projects for the three nations and their respective regions.
The Turkish president said the tri-lateral summit platform had a potential for further progress, adding that the cooperation process had dimensions of security and economic development to it.
"Economic development is a strategic tool in regard to the efforts exerted to maintain peace, stability and prosperity. As state leaders a great responsibility is upon us to achieve economic growth and encourage our entrepreneurs," Gul said.
Gul said railway transportation between Turkey and Pakistan set an important model for the cooperation, adding that Afghanistan should also be included in the railways network.
Joint military exercise
Gul also said Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan were set to hold a joint military exercise in April next year.
"As a result of consultations between our respective armed forces, a joint military exercise will be conducted in April 2011," Gul told a joint press meeting with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts following a summit meeting.
Gul said Turkey attached great importance to the fight against terrorism, which he said required a high level of cooperation between intelligence agencies.
"Do whatever necessary for ınterests of people"
Turkish President said that Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan would do whatever was necessary for the interests, security and development of the regional peoples.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari following a trilateral summit in Istanbul's Ciragan Palace, Gul said that working together in a friendly and determined way was the beginning of everything for the stability and security of the region.
One of the most important matters that we discussed was the establishment of an environment in which the institutions of the three countries could work in harmony to reach solid results, Gul said.
We discussed economic development as security and economic development went parallel to each other, Gul said.
Gul thanked President Karzai and President Zerdari for their confidence in Turkey and their support.
The confidence placed in Turkey increased Turkey's responsibilities, Gul also said.
Releasing a joint declaration following the trilateral summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said that cooperation among relevant institutions would be developed.
We will develop relations between our institutions related with education, training and other important fields, the joint declaration said.
Touching on the decision to hold a trilateral military exercise in Istanbul between March 19 and 27, 2011, the joint declaration said that the three sides were pleased to be involved in a military exercise and that such a military exercise would show the progress made in the military dimension of the trilateral mechanism.