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February 15, 2020

Erdogan vows ‘unflinching support’ on Kashmir, FATF

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February 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday likened Pakistan to his “second home”, and vowed that Ankara will support Islamabad at Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meetings despite any pressure.

Erdogan, who was on a two-day official trip to Pakistan, addressed a joint session of the parliament. In his address, Erdogan thanked the people of Pakistan and its leadership over the warm welcome he was accorded upon arrival. “It is my pleasure to speak to you. I am thankful to you for giving me the opportunity to address this august house.”

“While in Pakistan, I think as if I am at my home,” he said, adding: “We can never forget the sacrifices made by the people of South Asia for the freedom of Turkey.”

He thanked Pakistan for extending support when the earthquake had hit his country. “The way Pakistani nation helped us, I can never forget.”

Reiterating his support for the Kashmir cause, Erdogan said: “For Turkey, Kashmir is as [important as] it is for Pakistan. Our Kashmiri brethren have suffered a lot and the situation has now become worse. The issue can only be resolved through justice and fairness. Such a solution will be in the interest of all the stakeholders and Turkey will continue to support peace and dialogue in this regard.”

Erdogan lashed out at US President Donald Trump over the Middle East “Peace Plan”, and instead branded it a “takeover plan”.

“No distance can build a wall between the hearts of believers. It is our duty to help the oppressed Muslims. The plan of the ‘deal of the century’ is not a peace project but in fact, a project for occupation.”

The Turkish president also hailed Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terrorism, saying the country was the most affected by the menace. “We are fully cognizant of the problems faced by Pakistan and we will continue to extend cooperation to it to cope with them.”

“Despite all the pressure, I assure you Turkey’s unflinching support at the FATF. Our friendship is based on love and respect. Pakistan’s pain is our pain,” the Turkish president said. “Pakistan is moving towards progress and it cannot be achieved in days, it requires hard work. Like in the past, we will continue to support Pakistan in the future,” he said.

Earlier upon arrival, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser welcomed the visiting dignitary. Prime Minister Imran Khan accompanied the Turkish president.

Speaker Asad Qaiser welcomed the Turkish president and said that “he is a true friend of Pakistan and an important leader of the Islamic world.” It was the fourth address of President Erdogan to a joint sitting.—News Desk

APP adds: Pakistan and Turkey on Friday signed 13 documents of cooperation, including agreements, protocols and memorandums of understanding, to boost bilateral ties in the fields of trade, tourism, defence and infrastructure development.

The documents of cooperation were signed in a ceremony held at the PM House during the visit of President Erdogan following his one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and the delegation level talks.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing ceremony, besides the members of the Turkish delegation and federal cabinet members.

Pakistan and Turkey signed a declaration of Strategic Economic Framework between the two countries inked by Prime Minister Khan and President Erdogan, besides a joint declaration on the visit. The two countries signed a bilateral agreement on military training cooperation and the signatories included Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

Rector of National University of Science and Technology of Pakistan Lt.Gen (retd) Naweed Zaman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Turkish Aerospace Industries Tamel Kotli signed an MoU for cooperation between their respective institutions.

An implementation programme of the MoU between Turkish Standard Institutions (TSE) and Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) in the field of standardization, conformity assessment, meteorology and training was signed by PSQCA Director General Abdul Aleem Memon and TSE President Dr Adem Sahin.

An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Turkish Ministry of Culture, Tourism on Cooperation in Diaspora Policy inked by Secretary Overseas Pakistanis Amir Hassan and President of Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities Abdullah Eren.

In order to enhance media and cultural cooperation, a cooperation protocol between Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT) and Pakistan Television (PTV) was signed by PTV Managing Director Amer Manzoor and TRT Director General (DG) Brahim Eren.

Similarly, another such protocol was also signed by Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation DG Samina Waqar and TRT DG to enhance cooperation and share expertise in the field of radio. Pakistan and Turkey signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation for development of tourism and the signatories were Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza and Turkish Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism Dr Serdar CAM.

An MoU was signed by Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan for cooperation in the field of Halal Accreditation between the two countries. The Turkish Trade Minister and Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh signed an MoU between Turkish Trade Ministry and Federal Board of Revenue on trade facilitation and custom cooperation.

Minister for Communication Murad Saeed and Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turan signed an MoU for cooperation between Pakistan Post and Turkish Post.

Similarly, another MoU was signed by Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister to increase cooperation in the field of railways.