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August 14, 2018

Pakistan supports Turkey over row with US

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August 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: As relations between the US and Turkey have hit a new low, Pakistan has stepped in to support the latter acknowledging and greatly appreciating its invaluable role in regional and international peace and stability.

Pakistan pointed out that Turkey is a vital member and ‘engine of the global economy’. Last week Pakistan had sided with Saudi Arabia against Canada when the latter questioned negation of human rights by the monarchy which had seen activists, including women, thrown behind the bars. “The people and the Government of Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the Government and the people of Turkey in their quest for peace and prosperity, and as always, will continue to stand by them towards the achievement of these shared goals”, the Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement on Monday.

Pakistan’s support for a staunch ally comes in the wake of a strong Tweet from President Donald Trump which wraps up the US policy against Turkey. “I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

Pakistan says in principle, it is opposed to imposition of unilateral sanctions against any country. “The solution to any and all issues should lie in dialogue, mutual understanding and goodwill. Any steps or actions to the contrary only undermine the peace and stability and make the solution to a problem more difficult and intractable”, added the spokesman. In the background of US-Turkey tensions, according to US reports, are 20 Americans imprisoned in Turkey including a controversial evangelical preacher, Andrew Brunson.

Over the fluctuating Lira, Turkey says “there isn't any logical explanation for the recent fluctuations in the value of the Turkish lira, which closed the week trading at record lows against the dollar. The explanation Erdogan offers is that there must be a plot against Turkey”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has kept silent over the Trump administration’s decision to suspend Pakistan from IMET programme where normally 66 Pakistani officers were to be trained this year. Despite queries, the spokesman declined to comment. There has been silence from the ISPR as well.

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