Hailing longstanding bilateral ties, the Turkish president on Friday said his country is also rapidly developing its trilateral cooperation with Pakistan and Azerbaijan, Anadolu Agency reports.
"In addition to our bilateral cooperation, we also exchanged views on important regional and international issues on our common agenda," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a joint news conference with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Istanbul.
Türkiye, he said, has many successful joint cooperation projects aiming for the peace and stability of South Asia with Pakistan.
The trade volume between two countries has reached $1 billion and that it continues to expand, he added.
"We have the necessary political will and determination to achieve our $5 billion trade volume target."
The Turkish leader also commented on the situation in Afghanistan as he said establishing "peace and stability in Afghanistan is essential in terms of common threats and risks, beyond our humanitarian duty for our Afghan brothers."
He said they will continue to work together to "eliminate the effects of the humanitarian crisis faced by the Afghan people."
Erdogan also pointed to the solidarity and mutual cooperation between Türkiye and Pakistan and reiterated Ankara's support for Islamabad's counter-terrorism efforts.
"We have always seen Pakistan's pain as our pain, its joy as our joy and its success as our success," he said.
Pakistan invites Türkiye to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
Sharif on Friday proposed extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), inviting Türkiye to join the multi-billion-dollar project.
“China and Pakistan are great friends and we are experiencing and enjoying the benefits of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative of (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping). I would suggest let this be a cooperation between China, Pakistan, and Turkiye,” Sharif told the news conference, calling it a “wonderful joint cooperation.”
Sharif also said such cooperation among the three nations “will bring prosperity and progress in this entire region.”
“This will help the alleviation of poverty and unemployment. This will promote education and this is how we can really meet the challenges of today,” the Pakistani prime minister said.
Sharif said he will be “very happy" to talk to his "Chinese friends.”
“If we can move in this direction, I think, this would be a wonderful opportunity to really capitalize” he added.
Since 2014, China has invested around $28 billion in various energy and infrastructure projects in the South Asian country under the CPEC, allowing the world's second-largest economy to reach the warm waters of the Arabian Sea via the Gwadar Port in the southwestern Balochistan province.
Sharif also extended condolences to Türkiye on the deadly Nov. 13 terror attack in Istanbul.
“Our heart goes out” to the victims, said Sharif, referring to the terror attack on Istiklal Avenue which killed six people and injured 81 others.