Pakistan offers Azerbaijan, Turkey to create joint mily-industrial complex

BAKU – Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey can establish a joint military-industrial complex, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Thursday.

The foreign minister made the remarks at a joint press conference with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Baku.

In his turn, Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey closely cooperate in the defence industry in a bilateral format and stressed the need for a tripartite format of cooperation in that sphere. “We can establish joint ventures for the production of defence products and develop cooperation in this sphere in a trilateral format,” Mammadyarov added.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu stressed that the sides have the potential to strengthen cooperation in defence industry. “We do not compete with each other in this sphere, but complement each other,” Cavusoglu said.

Mammadyarov also announced that Azerbaijan will soon sign an agreement with Pakistan on the acquisition of training aircraft.

“The occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands necessitates the development of the defence sphere,” Mammadyarov said at the joint press conference following the first trilateral meeting with his Turkish and Pakistani counterparts.

Mammadyarov said Pakistan can use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad to transport various goods. Mammadyarov said the corresponding agreement was reached during the tripartite meeting.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was built on the basis of the Azerbaijani-Georgian-Turkish interstate agreement. The maximum volume of cargo transportation along the BTC corridor is projected at the level of 17 million tons per year. At the initial stage, this indicator will be at the level of 6.5 million tons of cargo. Also up to one million passengers will be transported.

“This first trilateral meeting is another milestone in our relations. We agreed to increase the trade turnover. We support each other in international organisations and also intend to intensify cooperation in the defence sphere,” noted the Azerbaijani minister.

Cavusoglu, for his part, noted that the next meeting of the three countries’ ministers will be held in Pakistan in 2018. He also confirmed the need for deepening cooperation in the defence sphere.

“We intend to bring the trilateral relations of Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey to a higher level,” said the Turkish foreign minister.

Khawaja Asif, for his part, noted that Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey have great potential for increasing the trade turnover.

Asif said the three countries share a common stance on the issues of Kashmir, Nagorno-Karabakh and Northern Cyprus. “We decided that Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey make more extensive use of the trilateral format,” said the foreign minister.

He noted that this meeting focused on the discussion of cooperation in the defence sphere and increasing trade turnover between the three countries. “Our cooperation in this area can develop in the trilateral format. There is no direct airline between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. With this restoration, relationships will grow stronger,” added Asif.

Cavusoglu said Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey are strategic partners. “The first trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Turkish and Pakistani foreign ministers resulted in intensive consultations,” he said.

The Baku Declaration adopted following the trilateral meeting will play a role of roadmap for future cooperation, stressed Mammadyarov.

Mammadyarov went on to say: “Our cooperation in the defence sphere is highly intensive. Transport relations are one of the topics of discussion. At the meeting, we emphasised the importance of restoring air transport on bilateral and trilateral basis. This creates great opportunities for tourism in the region.”

Meanwhile, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Thursday received a Pakistani delegation led by Khawaja Asif.


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