Turkish, Pakistani, Afghan leaders agree to joint military exercise
The presidents of Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed Friday at a trilateral summit in Istanbul that their countries' armed forces would conduct a joint military exercise in April 2011, dpa reported.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul hosted his counterparts, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, in the fifth such summit to be held since Turkey launched a three-way initiative among the countries in 2007.
Speaking to the press after the summit, Gul emphasised the importance of fighting terrorism.
"In order to do this, it is necessary for our intelligence organisations to work together in the best way possible," he said.
Gul did not provide any details about the nature of the military exercise the leaders agreed to.
The three presidents had attended a summit in Istanbul on Thursday of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a 10-member group that also includes Iran and Central Asian republics.
The summit, which showed Turkey's interest in expanding its influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, addressed trade and economic development in the region.