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Full Version: Zardari arrives in Turkey today to bolster ties
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ANKARA: President Asif Ali Zardari will arrive in Turkish capital Ankara today (Monday) on a four-day official visit to give fresh impetus to the growing ties with Turkey and discuss infrastructure, communication and energy projects with top Turkish leadership. President Zardari will hold talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to follow up on the progress already made. Recent developments in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf are also expected to be discussed, according to Foreign Office Spokesperson Tehmina Janjua. Both countries are eager to expand their trade volume to two billion dollars by year 2012 and working on plans to create Free Trade Area in the ECO region. During the talks, progress will be assessed on the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul freight train. The train is an important component of other rail and road projects crisscrossing the ECO region. President Zardari will look for ways to strengthen the bilateral institutional arrangements including the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC). Turkey has shown interest in expanding defence cooperation with Pakistan. Pakistan had decided to give 30-day visa to all Turkish nationals who possess valid US, UK or Schengen visas. The two countries plan to conclude a Visa Abolition Agreement for businessmen. During the visit, the president will be awarded highest Turkish state order medal Devlet Nishan and he will pay his respects at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
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