Eight pacts to be inked during PM’s Turkey visit

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THE NATION, ISLAMABAD, 13th SEPTEMBER 2013:- Eight significant agreements to enhance multidimensional economic cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey are likely to be signed by officials and private sector corporations representing the two countries during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Turkey next week.
In one of the key agreements, Export Credit Bank of Turkey is likely to offer a $US 300 million credit facility for Pakistan, it is learnt.
PM is scheduled to leave for Turkey on September 16 for a two-day official visit, his first after assuming office of prime minister following the May 11 general elections.
According to diplomatic sources eight agreements and several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed pertaining to energy, higher education, environment, culture and science and technology. In energy sector a framework agreement on power generation and distribution is under consideration, besides agreement between Pakistan’s leading state-owned oil and gas companies and their Turkish counterpart. An agreement on ‘transfer of offenders’ is also on the cards between the two interior ministries apart from another one on institution building.
Other pacts include establishment of cultural centres in both the countries and an agreement with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and its Turkish counterpart.
While drafts of most of the agreements and memoranda of understanding to be signed during the prime minister’s visit have been agreed, a major Preferential Trade Agreement is still being negotiated by both sides.
An agreement on a low-cost housing scheme is also being discussed between the two sides. A delegation of Turkish companies made a detailed presentation before the PM and his team in this regard on Wednesday.
These agreements will be signed at the ministerial level meetings. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, State Minister for Privatisation Khurram Dastgir Khan and special assistant to PM on foreign affairs, Tariq Fatemi, will also be travelling with the premier. The official delegation will also be accompanied by private sector representatives.
Prime minister will be visiting Turkey on the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Their talks will cover a wide range of bilateral and regional issues particularly the Syrian conflict, the situation in Egypt and the reconciliation process in Afghanistan will also be discussed.
Turkey first emerged as a player on Afghanistan during Pervez Musharraf’s regime when it convened and hosted trilateral meetings in Ankara. Almost all Pakistani politicians including Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif and especially Shahbaz Sharif see Erdogan as a modern, progressive leader of a Muslim state.
Agencies add: The highest state award will be conferred upon Pakistan’s premier during his visit to Turkey. In recognition of close and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkey, President of the Republic of Turkey will confer the award ‘Republic Order’ (Cumhuriyet Nisan) at a special investiture ceremony on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit the site of an award-winning low-cost housing project in Ankara, built for disadvantaged sections of the society.

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