Pakistan, Turkey vow to fight terror, Islamophobia

Pakistan and Turkey stressed the need for respecting all religions and reaffirmed the commitment to continue efforts to promote better understanding and inter-faith harmony.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Thu 19 Feb 2015, 9:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:45 PM

Islamabad — Reaffirming resolve to fight extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations Pakistan and Turkey have called for the criminalisation of all acts of Islamophobia.

The joint statement, signed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu after talks at the PM House here, condemned the defamation campaign against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam.

Pakistan and Turkey stressed the need for respecting all religions and reaffirmed the commitment to continue efforts to promote better understanding and inter-faith harmony.The two sides reaffirmed the immutable bonds of common faith, shared history, cultural affinity and brotherhood between the peoples of two countries.

During the dialogue, the Pakistani side was able to secure a commitment from the Turks that they would support efforts for comprehensive reforms of the United Nations Security Council to be sought after ‘widest consensus possible’. A renewed push for expansion of the UNSC is expected later this year. Islamabad has begun a counter-diplomatic push to protect its interests against the backdrop of India’s vigorous bid to secure permanent membership of the Security Council.

Sharif said the two countries will soon commence negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for increasing the volume of bilateral trade.

“We have agreed to give a thrust to bilateral trade and investment cooperation. We are embarking on new trade liberalisation initiatives and will work towards an FTA,” Sharif told reporters after co-chairing the fourth session of the Pak-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) with Davutoglu here.

The council is the highest-level bilateral political forum which makes decisions about ties between the two countries.

The proposed FTA will cover trade in goods and services and investment.

The two sides signed 11 memorandums of understanding aimed at bolstering cooperation in economic and social sectors.

An agreement on intensifying defence and security cooperation was echoed by the two prime ministers as Davutoglu said the two countries would continue to support each other and Sharif noted that “security, defence and counter-terrorism cooperation remains robust.”

news@khaleejtimes.com


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