ISLAMABAD, Sep 14 (APP):Pakistan and Turkey Friday agreed to enhance the bilateral ties in multiple spheres including trade, security, defense and investment besides vowing to maintain bilateral cooperation on regional and international issues for peace and stability.
Addressing a joint press stakeout here along with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu after their one-on-one and delegation level talks, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “The strength of Pakistan – Turkey relationship is not relative to time, situations or individual choices. It is a relationship anchored in affection and solidarity among the people of the two nations.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had arrived Islamabad early morning and was accompanied by a high-level delegation. It is the fifth visit of Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to Islamabad.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Pakistan and Turkey had been brothers, friends and partners and the inseparable bonds of common faith, history, culture had been reinforced by mutual trust and a sense of inter-dependence on critical issues.
Both the foreign ministers held a one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks in which senior officials from both sides were present.
In his welcome remarks, Shah Mahmood 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.
The Turkish Foreign Minister conveyed the best wishes of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the people of the Republic of Turkey and congratulated Shah Mehmood Qureshi on his appointment as Foreign Minister of Pakistan. He said during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, he would convey his best wishes to him too.
While reiterating the “heart to heart” and “Two Countries, One Nation” relations between both the countries, he underlined that Pakistan would always have a special significance in Turkish foreign policy.
He appreciated Pakistan’s successful and strong action to subdue and defeat the menace of extremism and terrorism.
Both sides reiterated that Pakistan and Turkey were important members of the Muslim world.
“Our people take pride in their faith and are determined to make collective efforts in confronting Islamophobia and other attempts to malign or distort the great message of peace and respect for humanity imbibed in the Holy Quran and repeatedly demonstrated in the life of our Holy Prophet (PBUH),” the two leaders remarked.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reaffirmed that government’s priorities were focused on socio-economic uplifting of the people of Pakistan and furthering regional peace and stability in the region, and that Turkey was one of the frontline partners in this pursuit.
Cavusoglu said that the two nations were destined to achieve great heights through a collective journey on the road to ensuring peace, stability, socio-economic development leading to prosperity of not only the two nations but all other countries and regions in the neighbourhood.
He said Turkey and Pakistan were endowed with unmatched natural, geographic and human resources to achieve these objectives.
Foreign Minister Qureshi told media that the two sides discussed the ways to enhance the bilateral trade up to the potential, besides taking the stalled process of free trade agreement to the logical end.
He said he had also invited Turkish foreign minister to attend the meeting of the OIC’s Kashmir Contact Group to be held on the sidelines of upcoming UN General Assembly session which was accepted by the latter.
Qureshi said the upcoming meeting of the Contact Group would be crucial because it followed the UN’s Human Rights Commission’s report highlighting the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The foreign minister also thanked the Turkish leadership for supporting Pakistan in its efforts against the contest of blasphemous caricatures forcing the call-off of the activity.
He called for exchange of the young diplomats to share each others’ expertise.
Qureshi said while discussing the regional situation including Afghanistan and Iran, he also apprised his Turkish counterpart on the objectives of his visit to Afghanistan.
The Turkish foreign minister said the real friendship was between the people as governments kept changing and hoped that the ties between the two people would continue forever.
He said during the meeting a host of issues were discussed including trade, investment, security and defense cooperation and hoped that the bilateral cooperation would prove successful in all fields.
The Turkish foreign minister said two countries also desired to further strengthen the trade ties and the Turkish government would urge Turkish firms to enhance their investment in Pakistan.
He said the bilateral defence cooperation stood above all bilateral ties. The two countries enjoyed similar views on regional and international issues, he added.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue supporting Pakistan in fight against terrorism.
He thanked Pakistan for supporting the Turkish government against the coup and called for continuous efforts by Pakistan to eliminate the Gullen network.
The Turkish foreign minister called for the resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN resolutions and as per the aspirations of Kashmiri people.
To a question, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was striving to eliminate terrorism being carried out through Syria targeting all including men, women and children.
He said Turkey had also contacted Iran and Russia and Turkish President Erdogan was also scheduled to meet Russian President Putin on Monday to discuss the issue.