Turkish president vows 'unflinching support' for Pakistan on Kashmir, FATF - GulfToday

Turkish president vows 'unflinching support' for Pakistan on Kashmir, FATF


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the joint sitting of parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Friday. AP

Tariq Butt / Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his country's support for Pakistan, its stance on the Kashmir issue and in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Turkish President Erdogan arrives in Islamabad on two day official visit

On the second day of his visit to Islamabad, he was addressing the Pakistan’s parliament for a record fourth time. He later offered Friday prayers at Aiwan-e-Sadr mosque.

ErdoganPrayPresident Tayyip Erdogan along with Pakistan's President Arif Alvi hold palms as they attend Friday prayers at the President House in Islamabad. Reuters

"I thank God for giving me this opportunity. I am thankful to each of you individually for allowing me to address this joint session of Parliament. I would like to convey the greeting of 83 million brothers and sisters in Turkey," Erdogan said at the start of his speech.

"I am thankful for the way in which the people of Pakistan have welcomed us. Here in Pakistan we never see ourselves as strangers. We feel at home. We are here at home, together with you. Today, Pakistan and Turkey's relations are admirable for others. The much-envied Turkey-Pakistan brotherhood today, is a true brotherhood, strengthened by history and reinforced by historical events."

Erdogan recalled various events, he termed as "golden examples" that Pakistan and Turkey share in their "common history."

ErdoganPakNAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan (top L) addresses the joint session of Pakistani parliament in Islamabad. AFP

The Turkish president said that Pakistan is on the way to peace and stability; peace and stability don't come in a few days, they require work. We applaud Pakistan's efforts to rid this region from terrorism. The country has been affected by terrorism. Pakistan and Turkey are the countries that have been most affected by terrorism due to their geographic location; we will continue to cooperate with Pakistan on counter-terrorism," he declared.

"I pray that God makes the solidarity between us strong and permanent. As in the past, we will continue to stand by Pakistan in the future.”

Erdogan-AlviRecep Tayyip Erdogan and Arif Alvi arrive for Friday prayers in Islamabad. AP

Speaking about the issue of Kashmir, Erdogan said that Indian-held Kashmir meant to Turkey exactly what it had meant to Pakistan over the years. “The relationship between Pakistan and Turkey will continue in the future like it has in the past,” he added.

"We will be supporting Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force meetings, where Pakistan is subject to political pressure," Erdogan told Pakistan's parliament a day after he arrived in Islamabad.

“The positive steps taken by Pakistan with regards to investment and trade are improving conditions for business in the country. Economic progress is not achieved in a few days, but takes constant effort,” the Turkish president said.

The FATF, which tackles money laundering, told Islamabad late last year that it could face blacklisting if it continued to apply inadequate controls over terrorism financing.

The FATF is meeting next week in France, and support from Turkey and longtime allies like China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia could help Pakistan remain off the blacklist. A minimum of three votes are required for any country to escape the blacklisting.

The FATF already has Pakistan on its "gray-list" of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing.

But its neighbour India wants Pakistan blacklisted.

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