Pakistan and Turkey have reiterated their desire to further strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, particularly defence. Both sides emphasized the need to work together to overcome the challenges being faced by the Islamic World. This was discussed during a meeting between President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi and the visiting Turkish Defence Minister, General (R) Hulusi AKAR, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr on 11 August.
Welcoming the Turkish Defence Minister, the President said that Pakistan attached great importance to its ties with Turkey as both countries had long history of fraternal relations, based on common faith, values and mutual trust. He stated that Turkey was a brother and great friend which had always supported Pakistan at difficult times. He thanked the Turkish leadership for supporting Pakistan at the international fora on issues of core national interest, such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, FATF and NSG.
The President appreciated the increasing defence cooperation between the two countries and expressed the hope that the signing of agreement on military training cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey, during the visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Pakistan in February 2020, would further enhance defence cooperation between the two sides. He reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Turkey on Cyprus.
The meeting also exchanged views over the current situation in Afghanistan. The President informed that Pakistan was making sincere efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan as Pakistan would be the major beneficiary of peace which had suffered a lot due to prolonged war in the neighbouring country. The President also highlighted the human rights violations being committed by India against the Muslim population of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK). He urged the International community to play its role to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions. He deeply thanked Turkey for supporting Pakistan’s stance on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The meeting also underlined the need for unity among the Muslim countries to address the challenge of animosity against Islam. General (R) Hulusi AKAR said that Pakistan was a brotherly country and Turkey wanted to enhance bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in various fields, particularly defence. He said that Turkey would continue to support Pakistan on Kashmir. The Turkish Defence Minister delivered an invitation to President Dr Arif Alvi from his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to visit Turkey.
Minister Hulusi Akar also called on Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. Welcoming the delegation, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted historic fraternal ties between Pakistan and Turkey, marked by unique mutual trust and mutual support. The Prime Minister conveyed his cordial greetings for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the brotherly Turkish people.
The Prime Minister also expressed deep concern over the forest fires in Turkey, reaffirmed Pakistan’s solidarity, and reiterated readiness to extend all possible assistance to help cope with this calamity.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the existing level of bilateral defence cooperation. Prime Minister Imran Khan also thanked for Turkey’s strong and consistent support to Pakistan on all issues, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
On regional issues, Prime Minister Imran Khan shared Pakistan’s perspective on the Afghan peace process. Underlining that a negotiated political settlement was the only way forward, the Prime Minister expressed hope that the Afghan leaders would recognize the importance of international convergence on the way forward and achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. The Prime Minister stated that Pakistan will continue to make every effort to help advance the Afghan peace process and to realize a political solution.
The Turkish Minister for Defence conveyed warm greetings from President Erdogan and reiterated Turkey’s support to Pakistan on all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir. He concurred with Prime Minister Imran Khan on enhancing cooperation in all areas to the mutual benefit of both the countries, inlcuding in the defence field. He also underlined Turkey’s efforts to promote a political solution in Afghanistan.
Mr. Hulusi Akar is visiting Islamabad as part of frequent high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Turkey for consultations on important bilateral and regional issues.