ANKARA  - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey on Wednesday reiterated their determination to intensify cooperation among the three countries to address regional challenges, especially the Afghan security problem.A joint statement issued, following the 7th Trilateral Summit of the Presidents of the three states, said the presidents expressed their resolve to foster connectivity among the institutions of the three brotherly countries and pursue an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process to address the militancy issue there.Earlier, addressing a joint press conference along with his Turkish and Afghan counterparts in Ankara, President Asif Ali Zardari said Pakistan was determined and making sincere efforts to defeat extremist mindset that has hurt both Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said the latest attack on Afghan intelligence chief was part of the designs to undermine their unity against terrorism.He said as extremists were facing defeat, they are reacting by launching attacks against individuals and personalities. But nations can never be held hostage by individuals or groups, how dangerous and powerful they might be, he said, adding, “We will have to prove to the world that we will not allow these elements to derail us from the path of progress and prosperity.”To a question, President Zardari said it is in the interest of Pakistan to support Afghanistan in its quest for peace, and it was in the interest of both countries that the Silk Route is opened. He said Pakistan has long been hosting Afghan refugees and they would go back only if there is a peaceful Afghanistan.Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that all the three sides agreed to promote trade interaction and urged the need for joint struggle of the regional countries to eliminate terrorism as it “is not the problem of any one country”.Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that the trilateral arrangement was proving fruitful in bettering their relations. He said that promises made for peace, stability, and economic development of the region will have to be materialised for real progress.Both Zardari and Karzai eulogised Turkey’s efforts for eradication of extremism and promotion of regional ties. On this occasion, foreign ministers of the three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for promotion of commercial and trade links. Later Turkish president hosted lunch for his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts and the accompanying delegations.The joint statement issued after the summit meeting called for connectivity among the three countries – at the level of their people, institutions, infrastructures and economies. The statement said that the hotline communication system being recently established among the presidential offices has set a concrete example in this regard.Recognising the common challenge posed by terrorism, extremism and narcotics trafficking as a major threat to regional peace and stability, the statement denounced strongly the recent terrorist attacks on Afghan spymaster Asadullah Khalid and on Malala Yusufzai. It said a joint working group comprising relevant agencies of Afghanistan and Pakistan will address the issue of attack on Asadullah.It welcomed the progress achieved in the Istanbul Process for a stable Afghanistan and reiterated their commitment to the peace process, and looked forward to the success of the Baku and Astana meetings next year. It noted the need for further developing the transport connectivity among the three countries as a basis for increased economic cooperation.