Turkey Recognizes Pakistan’s Role to Defeat Terrorism, Extremism

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“We also desire to further deepen our defense relations,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said

Sep 14, 2018: The visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held official talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday and appreciated Pakistan’s “successful and strong action to subdue and defeat the menace of extremism and terrorism,” officials said.

Cavusoglu also assured Qureshi of his country’s support in the bid to find a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue. “The (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) group that has been formed over Kashmir in the UN, we will stand with Pakistan and try to make it successful,” the Turkish foreign minister said.

The Turkish foreign minister, who arrived in Islamabad early on Friday, is accompanied by a high-level delegation.

Both the foreign ministers held a one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks in which senior officials from both sides were present, Pakistani foreign ministry said.

Speaking at a joint press conference after official talks, Qureshi and Cavusoglu said Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to further bolster their trade, economic, investment and defense relations.

Both sides also discussed the current trade volume and termed it unsatisfactory. The trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan was around $650 million by the end of 2017.

Qureshi said the meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the progress on Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

“Both sides agreed to revive the process of talks on FTA and take it to logical conclusion at the earliest,” the Pakistani foreign minister said and referred to the high level strategic council exists between the two countries, which provides mechanism to ensure implementation on the already signed projects.

Qureshi noted that regular exchange of high-level visits, and presence of a number of institutional frameworks under the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), was indicative of the close bilateral ties maintained at various levels. Pakistan and Turkey support each other on all issues of core concern to both sides.

“We have a unique relation, therefore, we should work together to further enhance our relations. The security issue for both the countries is important and so is the economic and military cooperation,” said the Turkish Foreign Minister.

The Turkish minister said Pakistan and Turkey have suffered the most in the war against terrorism.

Both sides reiterated to make collective efforts in confronting the growing Islamophobia and other attempts to malign or distort the great message of peace and respect for humanity imbibed in Islam.

The Turkish foreign minister said his country will encourage and facilitate Turkish companies to invest in different sectors in Pakistan.

“We also desire to further deepen our defense relations,” Cavusoglu said, adding, “Our defense industries have developed tremendously over a period of time and we have expertise in different areas and we can greatly benefit from each other’s experiences.”

The Turkish foreign minister also called on Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, during which, the focus of the discussion remained on Pakistan-Turkey relations, regional security, including evolving situation in the Middle East, the management of defense and security cooperation between both the countries, the military said.

“The Turkish foreign minister acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s contributions for conflict prevention in the region and also pledged to keep working for better relations between the two brotherly countries,” an army statement said.

Turkey desires a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue

Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Turkey has agreed to support Pakistan’s bid for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue at the UN.

“At the United Nations conference there will be a separate conference on Kashmir on the side. It happens every year but it is different this time because a new UN report has come out which sheds light on the India-occupied Kashmir.

“There has certainly been a surge in the interest of people in the human rights abuses that are taking place there. I invited FM Cavusoglu to that conference, and I am thankful to him that he accepted the invitation.”

Cavusoglu said that it’s Turkey’s wish that the Kashmir issue involving India and Pakistan gets resolved the UN in a peaceful manner.

“In the group that has been formed over Kashmir in the UN, we will stand with Pakistan and try to make [its efforts] successful.”

Qureshi further said that the situation of Afghanistan and Iran were also discussed during the meeting.

Cavusoglu calls on PM Khan

The Turkey’s foreign minister, who is here to convey the greetings of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the PTI government, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday.

Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey’s full support to Pakistan government’s future plans to “take the country on a rapid course of economic progress, developments and creating greater opportunities for the people of Pakistan, especially its vibrant youth”, read a statement issued by the PM Office.

PM Khan stated that Pakistan and Turkey were bonded by common faith, mutual interest, and a shared future for the people of the two countries. “Both countries have always stood beside each other and would continue to do so,” he maintained.

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