ISLAMABAD: Emphasising that lasting peace in Afghanistan was important for stability in the region, Turkish President Recip Tayyep Erdogan and Foreign Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday agreed that Pakistan and Turkey would continue to work together for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
According to the Foreign Office, the foreign minister, during a day-long visit to Ankara, held talks with the Turkish president, Prime Minister Benali Yildirim and Foreign Minister Mevlvut Cavusoglu on strengthening of relations between Pakistan and Turkey and deepening mutual coordination on regional peace, security and connectivity.
During his call on the Turkish President, Khwaja Asif 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 and continue working together for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif also called on Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildrim. Discussing the 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 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 the meetings, the two sides shared concern over the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Khawaja Asif thanked Turkey for its principled support to the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination.
The Turkish leaders and Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif also expressed deep concern over the atrocities being committed against the Rohingyas and appreciating the Turkish leadership on the issue, they stressed upon the international community for enhancing humanitarian efforts to alleviate their sufferings.