Kashmir as important to Turkey as it is to Pakistan, Erdoğan says

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The issue of Kashmir is as important to Turkey as it is to Pakistan, Turkey’s president said on Feb. 14.

“The Kashmir problem can be solved not by conflict or oppression, but on the basis of justice and equity,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate during his official visit to the country.

His remarks come some seven months into a lockdown on Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian-administered section of the disputed Kashmir region, a move widely decried by human rights groups as well as the global Islamic community.

In his record fourth address to Pakistan’s parliament, Erdoğan also addressed the situation in Idlib, northwestern Syria, saying that Turkey’s latest
steps in the province’s de-escalation zone are meant to prevent the Assad regime from killing 4 million oppressed people using barrel bombs.

Pakistan stands with Turkey’s righteous cause, despite others who work to protect terrorists, he said, referring to Turkey’s anti-terrorist Operation Peace Spring, launched last October, in northwestern Syria.

“Turkey will continue supporting Pakistan in its fight against terrorism,” he added.

Erdoğan also said Turkey would support Pakistan against the application of political pressure by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force.

On the so-called Deal of the Century on Jerusalem, announced last month by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House to widespread condemnation, Erdoğan blasted the plan as “an occupation project.”

Visiting Turkish president meets Pakistani counterpart

Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Feb. 13 hosted a reception in honor of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the capital Islamabad.

The reception was held at the President House hours after Erdoğan arrived in Islamabad for a two-day official visit.

According to a statement by the presidency, both leaders stressed the importance of historic bilateral relationship between Turkey and Pakistan in various areas, including politics, economy, culture, defence and people-to-people contacts.

Alvi briefed Erdoğan on the worsening human rights situation in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and thanked him for his “principled stance” on Kashmir.

The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues.

Alvi underscored Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace and stressed that the global community should help Afghanistan in post-conflict reconstruction.

The two leader also agreed that Pakistan and Turkey must continue to work closely to counter challenges facing the Muslim ummah, including Islamophobia, the statement added.

They affirmed that both countries would continue to extend mutual support on issues of each other’s core national interests.

The leaders highlighted the importance of fully realizing the great potential of relationship between Pakistan and Turkey and transforming it into a strong and dynamic trade and economic partnership, it said.

The two leaders, along with delegations, held talks focusing on bolstering the bilateral strategic and economic cooperation, the state-run Pakistan Television reported.

The two leaders vowed to increase the strategic partnership between the two countries, according to the broadcaster.

“Alvi expressed his satisfaction over ever-increasing cooperation between the countries in different sectors” the channel reported.

Apart from the two presidents, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, and Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalin also attended the reception.

Hurriyet Daily News

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