Pakistan, Turkey agree on close cooperation in counter-terrorism

Shumaila Andleeb

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb 23 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildrim on Thursday said both Pakistan and Turkey were facing the threat of terrorism and expressed the commitment for close cooperation to fight menace for region’s peace.
In a joint press stake-out following the co-chairing of 5th High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting, the two prime ministers expressed resolve to take strict action against terrorism
and extremism within their countries.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif emphasized that “Turkey’s enemies
are Pakistan’s enemies” and re-affirmed Pakistan’s commitment to
stand with Turkey in its fight against terrorism.
He expressed the confidence that Turkish leadership would effectively eliminate all threats of terrorism and would march to peace and prosperity under the guidance of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He said Pakistan was currently facing the challenge of terrorism and mentioned the recent terror attack at the Sufi shrine, which was a symbol of peace. However, he said efforts would continue against terrorism in all its forms.
Turkish Prime Minister Yildrim said Turkey was making contribution to regional stability despite being a target to terrorism.
He suggested that Pakistan and Turkey should have highest level of cooperation in counter-terrorism.
The Turkish Prime Minister said Pakistan had a key role in the region and was making progress in many areas despite confronting a number of challenges.
He said Turkey would continue to step up its cooperation with Pakistan, a country, which, he said had a very bright future. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed Turkey his second home and said it was always a pleasure to visit this friendly and brotherly country.
On the failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan reaffirmed solidarity with the Turkish government and nation for upholding the spirit of democracy.
He strongly condemned the `heinous attempt’ against democracy and said that Pakistani nation had all prayers for the 248 Turkish martyrs who lost their lives for their motherland.
He said the Turkish nation’s stance stood “mightier than the roaring tanks and guns” and their sacrifice would be remembered.
Calling the Turkish prime minister “my brother”, Nawaz Sharif said they together held a very productive session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), with focus on joint commitment to stronger partnership.
He expressed satisfaction that the friendship of Pakistan and Turkey friendship was flourishing with time and the two countries had excellent cooperation in education, energy, culture and defence.
He hoped that the Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding Agreements and MoUs signed today would further contribute to strengthening of relations between Pakistan and Turkey.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan and Turkey were celebrating 70 years of
their diplomatic relations, which he said would further intensify and enrich the people-to-people relationship.
He lauded the leadership of Turkey for their support on the Kashmir
issue and said Pakistan stood by Turkey on the issue of Cyprus.
He also thanked Turkey for its principle position on strategic
stability in South Asia and said that Pakistan was committed for peaceful neighbourhood including having friendly relations with India.
Nawaz Sharif stressed the need to intensify joint efforts to combat
“Pakistan and Turkey are committed to global peace and together we can work for peace to make the world a better place,”.

Prime Minister Yildirim expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s support and solidarity during the failed coup in Turkey.
He said the coup attempt was launched by Fethullah Gulen’s terrorist organization and termed it a threat to the security of world peace.
He said Pakistan and Turkey enjoyed cooperation in diverse fields including bilateral trade, regional and international issues and emphasized to further deepening of existing relations.
He mentioned that the HLSCC meeting co-chaired by the two prime ministers was very fruitful which discussed energy, infrastructure and transportation.
The Turkish Prime Minister said President Erdogan would visit Pakistan next month to attend the summit of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
He said Turkey was ready to do its share in anyway possible to improve relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He said Turkey wanted Pakistan and Afghanistan to have good neighbourly relations that would be helpful in counter- terrorism efforts.