Turkish president phones PM; Afghan peace, bilateral ties discussed

In a recent discussion between Pakistan and Turkey, it was agreed to keep up the momentum of high-level exchanges to transform bilateral relations into strategic economic partnerships.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday received telephone call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wherein they discussed bilateral ties besides Afghan peace process in wake of recently announced planned US withdrawal.

The two leaders exchanged felicitations on the advent of the holy month of Ramazan. They discussed issues of mutual interest including further strengthening of bilateral relations in all areas.

In the regional context, the prime minister stressed the importance of a negotiated political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan ahead of recently announced planned US withdrawal.

He highlighted that Pakistan had fully supported and facilitated the US-Taliban Peace Agreement and the subsequent initiation of Intra-Afghan Negotiations.

Read more: Afghanistan pins hopes for peace on Turkey talks

The prime minister stressed that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations provided a historic opportunity that must be seized by the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based, and comprehensive political settlement.

Appreciating Turkey’s role, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that Pakistan would continue to extend all possible support to the efforts for a political solution for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Both the leaders agreed to keep up the momentum of high-level exchanges to transform bilateral relations into strategic economic partnerships.

Turkey great Muslim power

Sener Akturk, a professor at Istanbul-based Koc University, suggested that Turkey as a potential candidate will become “the missing Muslim-majority great power.”

“You do not have a Muslim-majority great power even though Muslims represent a sizable population of the world – by far the largest religious group not represented in UN Security Council,” he said, arguing that all other religious identities, be it Christian, Hindu, and Confucian, were “great powers” laced with nukes, giving reference to US, Russia, China, and India.

Read more: Pakistan-Turkey joint military exercise ‘ATATURK-XI’ begins

There is no international actor, said Akturk, that can step in and “stop mass persecution of Muslim populations.”

He referred to mass killings of Muslim populations suffering in Bosnia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Rohingya in Myanmar.

“They are unaddressed because there is no great power that feels the urge to step in,” he added.

Turkey is the largest economy in the Muslim-majority nations, he said. “It has a history of competitive representative multi-party system, industrial-agriculture based economy and is the site of the largest Muslim empire,” he added.

Read more: 100 years of relations: Turkey’s role deemed pivotal in Afghan peace process

He also said Turkey attracts both refugees from Muslim countries as well as non-Muslim countries.

“Turkey has a power of attraction for having both religious and secular lifestyles co-existing,” he added.

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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