President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey and Pakistan are determined to enhance cooperation on a bilateral level and on international platforms after meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Ankara on Wednesday.
“We have comprehensively discussed our bilateral relations, and regional and global issues,” Erdoğan said while addressing a joint news conference with Sharif, following the one-on-one and delegation-level talks in Ankara.
Sharif said Pakistan and Turkey have stood by each other in times of need and on issues of core interest.
Pakistan stands with Turkey in its fight against terrorism, said the Pakistani prime minister, adding: “Enemies of Turkey are enemies of Pakistan.”
The Pakistani premier said the two sides will further the bilateral ties with focus on trade, defense, energy, tourism and education, and that he looks forward to welcome Erdoğan in Islamabad in September.
Terming Pakistan and Turkey as “natural partners,” Sharif said a “strong” business delegation from Turkey will visit Pakistan for “solid and productive results.”
Lauding Turkey's progress in e-commerce, tourism, education and infrastructure, Sharif said Pakistan would be “very happy” to get Turkey's support in sectors such as hydropower generation and renewable energy.
“We would be very happy in terms of investments by our Turkish friends who will make profits and we will get cheap energy, which will be a win-win situation,” he said.
The Pakistani prime minister said he expects further cooperation in defense sector including in sale of Turkish-made ATAK helicopters.
Thanking Turkey for its “steadfast support” on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Sharif said: “Turkey's unflinching support provides great strength to valiant Kashmiri people who have been subjected to the worst kinds of human rights violations for over seven decades.”
“We are convinced that durable peace in South Asia can only be achieved if the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with U.N. resolutions, and in accordance with wishes of Kashmiri people,” he added.
Sharif also expressed support for Turkish Cypriots, saying that “we will continue to support their legitimate rights and aspirations.”
The Pakistani prime minister also met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu earlier in the day, and addressed Turkey-Pakistan Business Council on Tuesday. His delegation includes Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, among others.
Sharif landed in Ankara on Tuesday on a three-day trip, which marks his first visit to Turkey since he assumed office in mid-April after former Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote following political turmoil. Sharif's visit coincides with the anniversary of 75 years of diplomatic relations between Islamabad and Ankara.
During his visit, Sharif highlighted the favorable relations between his country and Turkey, as he vowed to transform Pakistan into a self-reliant, politically stable country.
This year, Pakistan and Turkey are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, underpinned by structured institutional mechanisms. The High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) is the primary platform at the leadership level, which has been instrumental in further cementing bilateral relations. Six sessions of the HLSCC have taken place so far, with the seventh slated to take place this year.
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