ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a joint press conference in Islamabad on Thursday after their one-on-one meeting at the Prime Minister’s House.
“With time, our relations with Pakistan are getting stronger,” said President Erdogan during the press conference while showing gratitude for a warm welcome in Pakistan.
Rising unrest between Pakistan, India along LoC
He urged that Pakistan and India should come to a logical conclusion of the decades-old Kashmir dispute through dialogues instead of increasing problems for their peoples and Kashmiris.
“We want a peaceful and prompt resolution of Kashmir issue as per the will of its people and in line with the United Nations (UN) resolutions,” said the Turkish President.
He said, “Turkey is monitoring the rising tension along the line of control (LoC) separating Pakistan and India and the loss of precious lives,” saying “such mounting hostility could not be ignored”.
Erdogan hopes Pakistan will not support Feto
President Erdogan vowed to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in many fields such as defence, health and energy.
He said Pakistan never failed to support Turkey, particularly when its assistance was badly needed.
“Even when Turkey was facing a failed military coup, the government of Pakistan reiterated every kind of support for us,” he added.
He pinned hoped that Pakistan would not support any group on its soil working against the interests of Turkey and undoubtedly Fethullah Terror Organisation (Feto).
Pakistan has ordered Turkish teachers at schools with alleged links to a Turkish cleric Gulen opposed to President Erdogan to leave the country
Erdogan has accused Gulen, a former political ally, of being behind a coup attempt in July, and Turkey has previously asked Pakistan to shut down any groups in the country with links to the cleric.
Turkey to progress under Erdogan’s leadership: PM
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his address said, “Pakistan has no doubt Turkey will continue to march forward on the path of peace, progress and prosperity under Erdogan’s leadership.”
He lauded Turkish government and its people for bravely fighting against and defeating an imposed military coup.
“Pakistan believes its close and strong ties with Turkey serves as a stability factor in the region,” the premier said.
He also told the media that the year 2017 would mark the 70th year of Pak-Turkey diplomatic relations which would be celebrated.
“In this context, we have decided to complete the negotiation process for the comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement by the end of 2017,” he said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also appreciated Turkey’s bid for Pakistan to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
“We reaffirmed our joint commitment to continue to transform our special relationship into a strong, strategic partnership,” he added.
The prime minister said the two sides agreed that increased trade, investment and commercial cooperation must be the nucleus of the robust economic relationship that they envision.