Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov signed a joint declaration to improve trade and connectivity among the three countries. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Foreign ministers of Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a joint declaration to improve economic partnership and mobilize investments to enhance regional connectivity via rail, road and air links. The joint communiqué called the ‘Islamabad Declaration’ was endorsed after the second trilateral meeting of the three foreign ministers in Islamabad on January 13.

During the meeting, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, agreed to bolster collaboration among the three countries towards the promotion of peace, stability and development in their respective regions to achieve the shared goal of prosperity and security.

The three countries have decided to deepen cooperation in areas of mutual interest including political, strategic, trade, economic, peace and security, science and technology. The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Turkey are on an official two-day visit (January 13-14) to the country to bolster ties.

Trade and connectivity

The Islamabad Declaration calls for enhanced “cooperation on regional connectivity in transport, trade, energy, people-to-people contacts”, education, social and cultural exchanges, tourism, and ICT, through improving air, rail and road links and regional connectivity initiatives.

The three countries agreed to intensify efforts to upgrade trilateral trade and investment by offering new incentives to the business community, removing trade barriers and developing connections among the banking sectors.

The three countries renewed resolve to combat all forms and manifestations of terrorism, transnational organized crime, drugs and human trafficking, money laundering, and cybercrimes.

They also announced to initiate joint efforts to combat common challenges and threats confronting their countries foreign sponsored acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, hybrid warfare, targeted disinformation campaigns, and escalating trends of Islamophobia affecting Muslim communities in many countries.

Bilateral trade

During the joint press conference, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu encouraged investment by Turkish companies in Pakistan to boost bilateral trade from the current $800m.

In his talks with the Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the foreign minister, the focus was on strengthening 71-point High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council and prompt implementation of Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) to increase bilateral trade up to its true potential as well as collaboration in the defense industry.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov invited Pakistani companies to participate in the reconstruction of the newly liberated land from Armenian occupation. “We were proud to have your support when these land were occupied, we will be glad to have your cooperation to bring these lands back to life” he stated.

Pakistan and Azerbaijan officials agreed to build “a stronger economic relationship” and enhance partnership in the fields of security, trade, energy, connectivity, education and cultural arenas.