Imran, Erdogan express resolve to lift Pak-Turk ties

By: News Desk      Published: 07:47 PM, 14 Feb, 2020
Imran, Erdogan express resolve to lift Pak-Turk ties

    PM Khan thanks Turkish leader for unflinching support on Kashmir

    Stresses need to benefit from Turkey's technological experience

    President Erdogan says Pakistan is their 2nd home

    Vows to take bilateral trade to $5 billion in 'first phase'

    Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday addressed a joint press conference in Islamabad, following the signing of a string of MoUs for cooperation in different fields.

    In his remarks, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the cooperation being carried out between the two brotherly countries will benefit both to a great extent.

    Imran thanked Erdogan on his nation’s behalf for taking a clear stance on Kashmir issue and condemning India’s oppressive and unjust policies.

    He pointed out that more than eight million Kashmiris are under the prolonged Indian siege while their leaders are being kept at jails in grave violation of human rights.

    "They [Kashmiris] have no rights; they are living in fear."

    The prime minister reiterated that Kashmir is a disputed territory according to UN resolutions and needs to be resolved in light of the same resolutions.

    He also lauded Turkey for its support to Pakistan on the issue of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The two countries "stand together" on all key international issues, he added.

    Imran said Pakistan supports Turkey regarding its terrorism problem emanating from the Syria border. 

    Imran said that bilateral cooperation was also needed in the fields other than politics as Turkey was an advanced country. He particularly mentioned Turkish progress in the film industry.

    “We [Pakistan] want to develop content with them to address Islamophobia so that we can take a stand against the incorrect portrayal of Muslims."

    Erdogan’s take

    President Erdogan, who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan, said in his address that Turkish people consider Pakistan "our second home". He added that he was happy to visit the country after three years again.

    He thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and other officials for the hospitality extended to the visiting delegation.

    The president said holding another meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council was one of the most important symbols of the Pak-Turk friendship.

    The signing of 13 agreements between the two countries is the most important indicator of the strong relations between the two countries, he added.

    The Turkish leader recalled that in the last meeting in Ankara the two states had agreed to bring the level of bilateral trade volume to $5 billion by 2023.

    The strategic economic framework and its next action plan is almost ready which is the roadmap for uplifting of the economic relations between the two sides, he added.

    Erdogan said his country was ready to provide all help in the fields of transportation, energy, tourism, education, healthcare, and law enforcement which would help Pakistan in social and economic development.

    “Turkey is standing next to Pakistan today, as it did in the past and will do in the future.”

    Turkish President expressed the confidence that Prime Minister Imran Khan would spare no effort to improve the business climate in Pakistan.

    He said the messages of support and condolences conveyed by Pakistanis, from the president to the ordinary citizens, in the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey’s Elazig city was an expression of the affection between the two peoples.

    Erdogan said Turkey has received strong support from the Pakistani people and state on its October military operations in northern Syria.

    "Our relationship in the fields of military and defence is the most dynamic one.”

    The Turkish leader declared that his country was ready to contribute “in any way to enhance relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan which are both brotherly nations to us”.

    Erdogan said Turkey is in "deep solidarity" with the people of occupied Kashmir, who have suffered oppression for a very long time.

    "We fell very sorry and disturbed to see that the situation in this state is deteriorating because of unilateral steps taken by one party [India]."

    He said Turkey is in favour of finding a peaceful solution to the Kashmir problem through dialogue between Pakistan and India as per UN decisions and expectations of “our Kashmiri brothers and sisters".

    The president reiterated that Turkey greatly appreciates Pakistan’s efforts towards establishing regional stability.

    Accords

    Earlier, the two countries signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in the fields of tourism and culture, food security, postal services, railways, military training, trade, etc.

    The signing ceremony was witnessed by President Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran.

    An agreement was also signed for cooperation between the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television corporation (TRT) and Pakistan Television (PTV) network and Radio Pakistan.

    The signing ceremony followed the conclusion of the plenary session of the 6th round of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, which was established in 2009.

    Erdogan's address to Pak-Turk Business Forum

    President Erdogan on Friday also addressed the Pak-Turk Business Forum wherein he said that he feels jubilant whenever he comes to Pakistan and he was grateful to Pakistanis for their hospitality.

    The Turkish leader said that Turkey is improving its relations with Pakistan on various levels and expressed the hope that his meeting with the Pakistani leadership would be beneficial in the long-run.

    However, he admitted that the bilateral trade falls significantly short of its inherent capacity. Currently, the bilateral trade between Turkey and Pakistan is $1 billion that Erdogan vowed to increase by $5 billion in the "first phase".

    The President said that Pakistan should brief the Turk investors on the CPEC.

    He said that Pakistan has the potential to progress rapidly.

    “We are ready to extend our full support to our Pakistani brethren”.

    PM Imran’s Address

    Addressing the forum, Prime Minister Imran Khan in his concise speech reiterated the need to improve trade relations and initiate joint-ventures with Turkey.

    He said that Pakistan should learn from the Turkish tourism industry, adding that Pakistan was the most untapped nation in tourism due to lack of basic infrastructure.

    He appreciated the Turkish progress in this sector which has increased its revenue volume to $35 billion through improving the infrastructure.

    Imran Khan also hailed Turkey’s development in the mining and agriculture sectors, and said that Pakistan’s “will become the most business-friendly government soon.”

    Referring to the popularity that Turkish President holds in Pakistan, the prime minister said that Tayyip Erdogan will surely "clean sweep" if he contested election in Pakistan.