Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif visits Turkey, holds talks with Turkish leadership
Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif visited Ankara Tuesday on a day long visit, where he held talks with Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Benali Yildirim and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Issues related to further strengthening of relations between Pakistan and Turkey, and deepening mutual coordination on regional peace, security and connectivity were discussed.
During his call on the Turkish President, the foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong desire for further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries through increased cooperation in political, economic, defence and people to people ties.
President Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s unflinching commitment to broaden and expand brotherly relations between the two countries. They agreed on maintaining regular high-level exchanges between the two countries. Emphasising that lasting peace in Afghanistan was important for stability in the region, they agreed that Pakistan and Turkey would continue to work together for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Khawaja Asif called on Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim. Discussing bilateral relations, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the remarkable progress being made in deepening the strategic partnership. In this regard, recalling the important work done under the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) under the leadership of the two prime ministers, they resolved to take measures to impart further impetus to this bilateral strategic forum.
Later in the day, the foreign ministers of the two countries held bilateral talks covering all areas of mutual cooperation and coordination on peace and security in the region, with a particular focus on Afghanistan in the light of recent developments. They agreed that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and reiterated that Afghanistan’s neighbours and regional countries needed to work together for facilitating a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
During these meetings, the two sides shared concern over human rights violations in India-occupied Kashmir. The foreign minister thanked Turkey for its principled support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination.
The Turkish leaders and Khawaja Asif also expressed deep concern over the atrocities being committed against the Rohingyas in Myanmar; they stressed upon the international community for enhancing humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering.