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January 14, 2021

Pakistan, Turkey to portray true Islamic values

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January 14, 2021

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey, while expressing concern on the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia, agreed on Wednesday to increase collaboration for reflecting true Islamic values and enhancing interfaith harmony globally.

The matter was discussed in a bilateral meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu here at the Foreign Ministry. The Turkish foreign minister was on a visit to Pakistan to attend the second Pakistan-Turkey-Azerbaijan Trilateral Meeting. The two foreign ministers held an extensive exchange of views on bilateral, regional and global issues, a Foreign Office press release said.

They noted with gratification the positive momentum in brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkey marked by exceptional mutual trust and deepening cooperation in diverse fields. The two sides reaffirmed the resolve to ensure timely implementation of decisions, taken during the last session of High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in Islamabad in February last year.

Qureshi underscored the importance of building a stronger economic partnership, including by realising the vision in the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF). Thanking Turkey’s firm support to Pakistan on core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Qureshi briefed his Turkish counterpart on the grave human rights situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K). He underscored the importance of peaceful solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.

Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s positive contributions to the Afghan peace process and facilitative role in advancing the cause of peace and stability in Afghanistan. He expressed satisfaction on the ongoing cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral forums, including at the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Economic Cooperation Organisation.

The two foreign ministers reiterated the determination to continue extending strong mutual support to each other on all issues of core interest. Following the delegation-level talks, a memorandum of understanding relating to cooperation in the education field (working of Turkish MAARIF Foundation) was signed.

Cavusoglu and Minister of Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood signed the memorandum. Both the foreign ministers agreed to maintain close contact, and further solidify the fraternal and strategic Pakistan-Turkey relationship.

Later, Cavusoglu met Prime Minister Imran Khan who reaffirmed the exceptional nature of Pakistan-Turkish political relationship and stressed the importance of transforming it into a robust economic partnership, a PM Office press release said.

During the meeting, they discussed Pakistan-Turkey bilateral relations, and regional and international issues. The two sides reaffirmed their shared resolve to further upgrade trade, investment, defence, educational and cultural cooperation.

The Prime Minister thanked Turkey for its steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and highlighted the detrimental Indian actions posing a threat to peace and security. In the regional context, Khan underscored the importance Pakistan attached to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

In this regard, he highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process, and the imperative for all Afghan stakeholders to work for bringing down violence leading to ceasefire and securing an inclusive and broad-based political settlement. Khan emphasised the importance of working to combat Islamophobia and promote better understanding of the reverence Muslims have for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

It was agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and further build Pakistan-Turkish strategic relationship to the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.

Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi conferred Hilal-i-Pakistan, the country’s second highest civil award, on the Turkish Foreign Minister in recognition of his contribution to strengthening Pak-Turkish ties. The conferment on Cavusoglu was made at a special investiture ceremony held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Besides delegations of the visiting foreign minister, the ceremony was attended by federal ministers, diplomats and senior officers. The ceremony was started with recitation of Quranic verses, featured with playing of national anthems of both the countries.

After the investiture, the Turkish foreign minister also introduced two renowned Turkish actors including Nurettin Sönmez, known for his role as Bamsi Beyrek in Ertugrul and Ayberk Pekcan, who played Artuk Bey. Both the celebrities were warmly received by the audience and took full advantage of the rare photo-op.