Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan on Wednesday agreed to strengthen cooperation in diverse fields and people-to-people ties, as well as continue to support each other on all issues involving the three countries’ national interests.
The understanding was reached between the foreign ministers of the three nations at the second Pakistan-Turkey-Azerbaijan trilateral meeting, hosted by Islamabad.
Speaking at a joint press conference after the meeting, titled ‘Islamabad Declaration’, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reiterated the brotherly relations of Pakistan with Turkey and Azerbaijan, saying the three countries had resolved to enhance cooperation amongst them.
He said the ministers had exchanged views on trade, investment, people-to-people relations, security and other subjects. They also discussed how to deal with common challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and Islamophobia, as well as human rights violations against Muslim minorities across the region.
“We want to enhance [our] linkages through parliamentary exchanges, enhanced media interaction and collaboration between our think tanks, artists and tourists,” Qureshi said, adding that his Turkish and Azeri counterparts had appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process.
“We reiterated our determination to support one another on all issues of our core national interests,” he added.
The foreign minister said the people of Pakistan and Kashmiris remained “profoundly grateful” to Turkey and Azerbaijan for their “principled and steadfast support” on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He said he had informed the ministers about the evolving situation and the “dire situation of human rights violations” in Indian-occupied Kashmir, including the prolonged military siege and “deliberate, unilateral and illegal actions” to make demographic changes in the valley.
Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s resolute support for efforts towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of “political equality of the two communities”. He said Pakistan had consistently called for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
He said the Turkish and Azerbaijani ministers were also briefed on “state-sponsored terrorism in our region in an attempt to destabilise Pakistan”, as well as the anti-Pakistan Indian disinformation campaign exposed by EU Disinfo Lab.