Islamabad:Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday vowed unflinching support for Pakistan on the issues related to anti-terror financing and the long pending Kashmir Issue. The Turkish president made the remarks while addressing a joint session of the parliament.
In his address to the Upper and Lower House of the legislature, Erdogan said that he was thankful and happy to have had the opportunity to address the joint session of the parliament in Pakistan. “I am thankful for this opportunity. I am thankful to each of you individually for allowing me to address this joint session of Parliament,” he said.
Erdogan further thanked the Pakistani people and 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 house.” “While in Pakistan, I feel like I am at home,” he said. ‘Pakistan’s pain is our pain’
“Today, Pakistan and Turkey ‘s relations are admirable for others. During difficult times, Pakistan has supported Turkey ,” Erdogan added. “Our friendship is based on love and respect. Pakistan’s pain is our pain,” the Turkish president remarked.
ON KASHMIR ISSUE
Discussing the Kashmir issue, Erdogan said: “Our Kashmiri brothers and sisters have suffered from inconveniences for decades and these sufferings have become graver due to unilateral steps taken in recent times.
“The Kashmir issue can be resolved not through conflict or oppression but on the basis of justice and fairness. Such a solution will serve the interests of all parties concerned. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue in the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
“On this occasion, I would like to emphasise that we appreciate Pakistan’s positive contributions to the peace process in Afghanistan. As Turkey, we leant the necessary support to Pakistan and Afghanistan both of which we deem as our brothers and sisters.
“Today, the issue of Kashmir is as close to us as it is to you [Pakistanis],” he said, reiterating his support for Kashmiris.
“Like in the past, we will continue to support Pakistan in the future,” he vowed.
“Pakistan is on the way to peace and stability; peace and stability don’t come in a few days, they require work.
“We applaud Pakistan’s efforts to rid this region from terrorism. The country has been affected by terrorism.
“Pakistan and Turkey are the countries that have been most affected by terrorism due to their geographic location […] we will continue to cooperate with Pakistan on counter-terrorism,” he declared.
“No distance can build a wall between the hearts of believers. If there is torture against any believers in the world, it our duty to help them.
ON DEAL OF CENTURY
The Turkish president also discussed the recently unveiled US plan for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Especially over the past few days, when [US President Donald] Trump and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu took a step about Al-Quds.
“The agreement of the century is not a peace project but in fact a project for occupation,” Erdogan said, adding: “We said Jerusalem is our red line. We declared to the whole world that we will not leave Haram al-Sharif to the mercy of the occupying Israeli administration.
“In recent weeks, the American administration announced this plan as the plan of the century; we [Turkey] showed the biggest reaction to this plan of annexation, occupation and demolition.”
“I pray that God makes the solidarity between us strong and permanent.
“As in the past, we will continue to stand by Pakistan in the future.”
Discussing the relations between the two countries, he said: “I also want to emphasise that we will give support to Pakistan which is subject to political pressure in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meetings.”
His comments come days ahead of an FATF meeting in Paris that which will decide on Pakistan’s request to be taken off its grey list of non-compliant states.
Statement, issued by the Foreign Office ahead of the trip, said that during the visit, Premier Imran and President Erdogan will have a tete-a-tete, after which they will co-chair the 6th Session of the Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in the joint cabinet format.
At the conclusion of the session, a Joint Declaration will be signed. A number of important agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) are expected to be concluded. The two leaders will also have a joint press stakeout.