ZAMAN, DEC 8, 2010
Pakistan, Turkey cement 'fraternity' with strategic dialogue
ANKARA - Pakistan and Turkey, enjoying deeply-rooted ties of friendship, on Tuesday took a step further to institutionalize this relationship through a high-level strategic cooperation council.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, co-chaired the first meeting of the council during Gilani's official visit to the capital. Gilani said the council meeting was a sign of the special relationship between Ankara and Islamabad, while reiterating a firm political will to improve bilateral ties, while speaking at a ceremony held at the presidential Çankaya Palace ahead of the council's meeting.
At the ceremony, President Abdullah Gül bestowed the Order of the Republic Medal upon Gilani in recognition of his contribution to "ever-growing" bilateral relations between the two countries.
Gilani has been displaying exemplary leadership and statesmanship under extremely difficult conditions in an extremely important region, Gül said at the ceremony. Gilani's efforts are important for regional and global peace as well as for cementing fraternal ties between Pakistan and Turkey, he said.
Recalling that during a visit to Pakistan in early April, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari had conferred the Nishan-e-Pakistan award on him, Gül described both the award and the medal bestowed upon Gilani as "a strong symbol of eternal, everlasting and unwavering fraternal relationship between our countries and our peoples."