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7 July 2007, Joint Declaration Regarding the First Meeting of the Joint Working Group Established by Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (Unofficial Translation)

 

The First Meeting of the Joint Working Group established by the Ankara Declaration of 30 April 2007, was convened in Ankara on 6 July 2007 with the participation of Mr. Mohammad Kabir Farahi, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mr. Riaz Mohammad Khan, the Foreign Secretary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and Mr. Ertuğrul Apakan, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.

The members of the Joint Working Group were received by H.E. Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of the Republic of Turkey, and H.E. Abdullah Gül, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.

During the talks, progress on the conclusions of the Ankara Declaration was reviewed in accordance with the mandate given by the Presidents of the three countries. Afghanistan and Pakistan delegations have reported on the developments and the number of high-level contacts since the Ankara Summit. In this framework, various confidence building measures aimed at improving and strengthening the climate of trust and cooperation between them were taken up. Furthermore, the existing mechanisms of cooperation and consultation in such fields as combating extremism, terrorism, drug trafficking as well as in the fields of economic, cultural and security cooperation, were considered.

In this context, the Turkish side suggested a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three countries at the margins of the upcoming 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2007 in New York.

The Turkish side offered to hold meetings between the apex bodies of chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries on the invitation of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.

The Joint Working Group discussed and agreed to the following suggestions:

· Participation of the mid-level Afghan and Pakistani experts in the courses organized at the Center of Excellence on Defense Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) in Ankara.

· Participation of officials from relevant law-enforcement authorities of both countries in courses offered by the Turkish International Academy Against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC).

· Conducting feasibility studies for joint projects identified by the two governments with the assistance of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).

Afghanistan and Pakistan sides also agreed on the following confidence building measures:

· To enhance the security cooperation through established mechanisms, especially to deny sanctuary, training and financing to terrorists and to elements involved in subversive and anti-state activities in each other’s country and to initiate immediate action on specific intelligence exchanges in this regard.

· To recommend to the ministerial level Joint Economic Commission between the two countries to look into the matters related to transportation, transit and customs.

· To promote cooperation for exchange of programs in the media with a view to strengthening the brotherly relations between the two countries.

· To establish cooperation in early warning against natural disasters and exchange of relevant information including meteorological cooperation.

· To promote people to people contacts and exchanges including among the parliamentarians, journalists and academicians of the two countries especially through official channels.

The meeting, which was held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere, constituted a significant step on the path of institutionalized dialogue and cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

The Joint Working Group will hold its next meeting in Istanbul before the Second Summit.

The delegations of Afghanistan and Pakistan expressed thanks for the warm hospitality extended to them by the Turkish side.