|Lankan-Turkish cooperation against terror hailed|
|Wednesday, 03 December 2008|
Bi-lateral trade volume to reach $100 million by end 2008
The Turkish President yesterday welcomed Turkish-Sri Lankan cooperation against terrorism.
Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul said that Turkey welcomed the cooperation of the two countries in the fight against terrorism.
“Turkey is pleased with the cooperation of Turkey and Sri Lanka, two countries that have suffered much from terrorism, in the international fight against terrorism,” Gul told a joint press conference with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Turkish capital of Ankara.This is the first ever visit of a Sri Lankan President to Turkey.
During the press conference, Gul said he hoped that this visit would further improve bilateral relations and expressed expectation that the trade volume would reach $100 million by the end of 2008.
Also talking about a statement India made with reference to Pakistan with regard to terrorist attacks on its territories, Gul said that a Pakistani-Afghan summit to take place in Istanbul this week would mainly focus on Asia’s security, Afghanistan’s future and settlement of Afghan-Pakistani problem through friendship.
Gul said, “Naturally, terrorism also hits the region and many terrorist attacks occur in Pakistan.”
The Turkish President said the dynamics of that region were very different and expressed belief that the meeting would yield positive results.
Before the press conference, two countries signed agreements on extradition of criminals and air transportation.Rajapaksa told the conference that his current visit to Turkey would be a springboard to develop bilateral relations.
He said that the Sri Lankan Government paid high attention to develop cooperation with Turkey in all areas, including counter terrorism. Stressing that his visit was the first one ever by a Sri Lankan president to Turkey, Rajapaksa said that Turkey and Sri Lanka had deep historical ties.
“My visit to Turkey would be a good opportunity to boost bilateral relations,” Rajapaksa said.
“Counter terrorism is a topic that has been on the agenda of Turkey and Sri Lanka for a long time. There is no good or bad terrorist. It would be to the benefit of our two.”
Meanwhile the official statement released noted that among the matters that featured high in the talks was the potential for enhanced trade and economic relations between Sri Lanka and Turkey, and both parties agreed on the legal architecture to be established for the expansion of these relations.
In this regard a treaty on Avoidance of Double Taxation and an Investment Protection Agreement were identified as requirements for early conclusion.
Among the areas recognized and underscored for greater cooperation between Sri Lanka and Turkey were Customs and Tariff regimes, Maritime activities, Tourism, the construction sector, education and air transportation.
The setting up of a Joint Commission between the two countries was agreed in order to facilitate the implementation stage of these proposal and understandings.
In the context of challenges that both countries face from terrorism, both Presidents agreed on the need for greater resolve to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and cooperating in seeking to eradicate the threat of terrorism. In this regard, there was agreement on the need for the early conclusion of agreements on dealing with the illicit trafficking in narcotics, and on counter-terrorism activities.
The two leaders also discussed the issue of illegal immigrants and the conclusion of an Extradition Treaty between the two countries later in the day was appreciated as a positive move in this direction.
The Sri Lankan President cited the need for easy access to Sri Lanka Tea to the Turkish market, which is a traditional importer of tea, and sought a concessionary tariff regime for this major export from Sri Lanka.
On education, the Turkish leader welcomed the request for scholarships in Turkish Universities and other institutes of higher education for Sri Lankan students especially in areas of study such as IT, Medicine, engineering including chemical and aerospace engineering.
Both leaders saw the need for greater people to people contact and understanding between Sri Lanka and Turkey, where tourism could play a significant role. The regular exchange of parliamentary delegations from both countries was also seen as contributing to this, especially as in both countries there are friendship groups of the two countries in the respective parliaments.Courtesy:The bottomline
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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