ANKARA (Rahnuma): The Turkish and Pakistani leaders on Friday expressed their determination to fight FETO, the group responsible for the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan released a joint declaration after meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara, where they exchanged views on the entire spectrum of the bilateral “heart-to-heart” relationship as well as issues of regional and international importance.
In a joint declaration, the leaders of the two countries reiterated their resolve to fight the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
At a news conference after the meeting, Erdogan praised a recent Pakistani Supreme Court ruling recognizing FETO as a terror group.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, including the military, police, and the judiciary.
The declaration “re-affirmed that the unparalleled fraternal relations between the peoples and the governments of the two countries date back centuries and are embedded in a common cultural and religious heritage, as well as a shared vision for the future, based on complete mutual understanding and trust.”
It added the relationship between the two brotherly countries has over the years transformed into a strong strategic partnership in all areas of mutual interest.
International, multilateral cooperation
The leaders reiterated their determination to continue extending strong support to each another on all issues of core national interest, and also expressed a commitment to further enhance bilateral ties.
They also “expressed satisfaction at the ongoing cooperation between the two countries at multilateral forums including at the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC]; Economic Cooperation Organization [ECO]; Developing 8 Countries [D8]; as well as other relevant forums.”
Erdogan and Khan reaffirmed their commitment for achieving sustainable regional and international peace, security and, stability.
The declaration “underscored the need for resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir through a sustained dialogue process and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”
The declaration also recognized Turkey’s support for Pakistan’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) based on non-discriminatory criteria.
The leaders also said in the declaration that sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan could be achieved through reconciliation of all sectors of Afghan society with support from both regional countries and the international community.
Erdogan also announced during the news conference that a trilateral meeting between Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan will be held in Istanbul after Turkey’s March 31 local elections.
In the declaration, Turkey and Pakistan reiterated their full support for efforts for comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the political equality of the two communities on the island, with a view to building peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
It also “emphasized the centrality of the cause of Palestine, rejected any attempt to alter the legal status and historical character of Al Quds [Jerusalem]; called on the international community to increase their support to the Palestinian people in realizing their quest for the establishment of an independent, sovereign and contiguous State of Palestine on the basis of the borders of 1967 with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.”
The leaders agreed to increase collaboration to uphold the true values of Islam at international forums as well as work closely to counter any attempts to malign, distort, or vilify the historical image of Islam.
According to the declaration, Erdogan and Khan expressed their strong resolve to further increase the frequency of bilateral contacts at the highest level.