World Bulletin / News Desk
Cooperation between Turkey and Kazakhstan is significant to the stability and security of the region, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Erdogan's comments came at a joint press conference with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana on Thursday, after they chaired the second meeting between Turkey and Kazakhstan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
He said: "It is a must for countries such as Turkey and Kazakhstan, symbols of stability, security and prosperity in their regions, to act together against 'the circle of fire today'."
The two leaders discussed the regional and international matters, as well as bilateral relations and progress made since the first such meeting was held in 2012, when Kazakh president paid an official visit to Turkey.
Erdogan said: "Kazakhstan has a key location concerning the connection of Central Asia to the international markets through the Caspian Sea."
He added that any project resulting from the connection would contribute to the prosperity of the region.
- 'Efforts to continue'
Kazakh President Nazarbayev said: "Turkey wants to expand into Asia through Kazakhstan, while we want to expand into Europe and The Middle East through Turkey."
He said the two countries, which Erdogan described as "the two great countries of Eurasia," aim to increase their trading volume to $10 billion from $3.1 billion in 2012.
Nazarbayev added: "I believe that we will soon overcome the existing regression of our trading volume.
"We are determined to take the needed steps to succeed it and to continue our efforts."
Pointing out that Kazakhstan is one of Turkey’s most important political and economic partners in Central Asia, Erdogan also said there were a number of Turkish companies working across the country.
Nazarbayev said there were 1,600 Turkish companies which had carried out numerous projects worth $20 billion to date.
Erdogan's visit, meanwhile, coincides with the 550th anniversary of Kazakh statehood, for which Turkish president congratulated the "friendly and brotherly Kazakh people".
Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan on Dec. 16, 1991 and diplomatic relations were established in March 1992.Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2015, 15:50