Turkey joins Pakistan, China in joint efforts for Space Technology

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BEIJING (China): Turkey has joined Pakistan, China and six other countries in the region to make joint efforts for the development of space technology.

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in China Oktay Ozuye signed the Convention of the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) on behalf of his government. Thus Turkey has become the ninth State to sign the APSCO Convention.

Informed sources said on Wednesday that the organization is aimed at promoting multilateral cooperation in the field of space technology.

Other six countries that have already inked the Convention are Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Mongolia and Peru. Five countries Argentina, Brazil, Philippine, Russian Federation and Ukraine joined the APSCO with observer’s status.

Sources say that this is a big breakthrough in strengthening regional cooperation for peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of all mankind.

Pakistan and China played a pioneering role in establishing the organization, first of its kind to expand and intensify cooperation in space activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

This will enable the member countries to share their experience, know-how and potential for their common benefit. They will share their available resources in the use of satellite remote sensing data in environmental protection, natural resources exploitation as well as disaster monitoring and prevention.

The sources hoped that Pakistan and other member countries that joined APSCO will soon get the Convention ratified by their respective Parliaments to make it fully functional. Meanwhile, an interim council at the Ministerial level had been constituted to undertake necessary preparatory work.

China, being a host country has offered to provide full financial support for the establishment and operation of the APSCO until 2006. As such, the member States are not under any obligation to make financial contributions during the preparatory phase. However, they will be required to pay their financial contributions from the year 2007.

Taking in view the immense potential of Space Technology and its spin-offs in the socio-economic uplift of the countries, three Asia-Pacific countries, China, Pakistan and Thailand had taken an initiative and jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February 1992 for setting up the Asia-Pacific Multilateral Cooperation in Space Technology and Applications (AP-MCSTA).

According to the sources, the benefits to be accrued to the Asia-Pacific countries by virtue of their membership to APSCO will be enormous, including creation of multilateral compatibilities among space systems by the member states that can provide enhanced capabilities in several areas of space technology applications.

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