Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – addressing a joint session of Pakistani Parliament for a record fourth time – pledged his continued support for Islamabad and its stance on occupied Kashmir and other issues of importance.
“I thank God for giving me this opportunity and I am thankful to each of you for allowing to address this session,” said the Turkish president.
Thanking people of Pakistan for the warm welcome, he said: “Here, in Pakistan, we never consider ourselves as strangers. We feel ourselves at home, in one of the most important meeting points in Asia, in the fertile geography of the Islamic world.”
“Fraternal ties between Turkey and Pakistan have been granted to very few countries and nations of the world.”
“Relations between Pakistan and Turkey are admirable. Pakistan has always supported Turkey during difficult times.”
‘Kashmir for us is what it is for you’
The Turkish leader quoted Pakistan’s national poet, Allama Iqbal, and said the people of Pakistan have always stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Turkey.
“We can never forget this.”
“Today, Kashmir for us is what it is for you,” said Erdogan reiterating his support for Pakistan’s stance.
“Our Kashmiri brothers and sisters have suffered for decades and the transgressions have become graver.”
“We once again demonstrated our country’s sensitivity in this matter by defending Kashmir at the 74th United Nations General Assembly.”
“The Kashmir issue can not be resolved through conflict but through justice and fairness. Such a solution will be in the interest of all parties. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue.
“How can we forget the people of this nation who prayed for Turkey. Our friendship is based on love and not vested interests.”
“Short-term interests, daily reckonings cannot hinder our everlasting and eternal brotherhood,” said President Erdogan.
“I am thankful on behalf of the Turkish people for the support Pakistan has extended to us when there were earthquakes in Turkey.”
“Like in the past, we will continue to support Pakistan in the future,” vowed the Turkish leader. He also said Ankara would support Islamabad in regards to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“Pakistan is on the way to peace and stability; peace and stability don’t come in a few days, it requires work.”
“Pakistan’s fight against terrorism is highly commendable and the country has been affected by religious fanaticism. The country has made enormous sacrifices.”
Pledging his continued support to Pakistan on counter-terrorism, the Turkish head of state said the two countries were the most affected by terrorism “due to their geographic location”.
“No one can break the bond of Muslim brotherhood in any way. Everyone should stand with one another.”
Referring to other conflict zones, the Turkish president said it is our responsibility to provide assistance to Muslims, no matter where they are.
“Turkey has played a leading role in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Palestine. We have been on the front lines of the battle to liberate innocent Muslims across the region.”
“With this understanding, Turkey endeavours to eliminate the differences between the Ummah, to find a solution to the disputes and to claim our righteous causes, especially Palestine, Cyprus and Kashmir.”
‘Jerusalem is our red line’
During his address, Erdogan also referred to the ‘deal of the century’ by US President Donald Trump. “This is not a peace plan, it’s a plan of occupation.”
“We have been actively engaged in all matters concerning the Muslim Ummah especially during our presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
“We took an honourable and determined stance against the attacks of Israel on our first Qibla, Al-Quds Al-Sharif. We declared to the whole world that we would not leave Haram Al-Sharif at the mercy of the occupying Israeli administration by saying,” elaborated the President Erdogan.
“Jerusalem is our red line.”
“I have come with a delegation of Turkish businessmen. After the Friday prayers, we will be having business discussions with Pakistani counterparts,” elaborated Erdogan.
“The ‘Strategic Economic Framework’ and ‘Action Plan’ documents that we are going to sign today will be our road map in a wide scope ranging from trade to infrastructure, from investments to tourism.”
The Turkish president ended his speech by reciting a few verses of the Pakistani national anthem and prayers for the two countries and the Muslim world.
The session started with a recital from the Holy Quran followed by an introductory address by Speaker Asad Qaiser, who paid a tribute to the Turkish president and welcomed the leader to the Parliament.
“It is an honour for me to be able to welcome the Turkish president, a friend to Pakistan, and one of the most influential Muslim leaders in the world. Pakistan and Turkey have strong historical and emotional ties,” said the speaker.
Arrival at Parliament
Earlier on arrival at the Parliament, the Turkish president was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.