Pakistan has a vital duty to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, where conflicts have intensified recently, the Turkish president said on Sunday.
Speaking at a ship launching ceremony as part of the Pakistan MILGEM Corvette Project in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Pakistan on its 75th day of independence.
“As Turkey, we are facing a wave of Afghan migrants through Iran,” he said, adding that his country would continue to put every effort to help bring stability in Afghanistan and in the region.
“To achieve this, we need to boost cooperation with Pakistan.”
“Pakistan with a population of 220 million plays a critical role in efforts to establish peace and increase prosperity in South Asia,” he added.
Turkey’s defense industry
Erdogan said Turkey has reduced its foreign dependency in the defense industry from 80% to below 20%.
“Turkey is a country that shares every facility it gains with its friends and brothers, as it grows and becomes stronger,” he said.
The Prime Minister stated that Pakistan will continue to make every effort to help advance the Afghan peace process and to realize a political solution.
— Prime Minister's Office (@PakPMO) August 11, 2021
“When the projects, all of which will be concluded in four to five years, are realized, Turkey will rise to the top league of the world in the field of the defense industry,” Erdogan added.
The Turkish president also condoled the loss of lives in a firefighting plane crash in the country’s southern province of Kahramanmaras. All eight people on board died in the plane crash on Saturday.
Turkey is the only Muslim majority country in NATO with considerable influence both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Taliban have expressed their dislike for Recep Erdogan’s involvement but he’s deepening ties with Pakistan and Qatar, countries that recognize Taliban’s political legitimacy in Afghanistan, to offset that opposition against him.
With its renewed role in the region, Turkey may become the next influential country of NATO in Afghanistan at a time when the US is backing out, which may help it to crease out the strain in its relations with the US.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and US relations are on a downward trajectory, except for some key meetings between Secretary Blinken and Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf, there has not been a direct high-level talk between the heads of the two governments. Turkey’s diplomatic ventures with multiple regional to trans-regional countries is surging its geopolitical significance.
In last year’s visit, General Bajwa had met Defence Minister Akar and said that they discussed “issues of mutual interest including regional stability as well as defense and security cooperation.” Meanwhile, Akar praised Pakistan’s role in maintaining regional stability. The details of today’s developments are yet to be disclosed.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk