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Excellency, Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu,
Distinguished Members of Turkish delegation,
Respected Representatives of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu and the Turkish delegation to their second home, Pakistan: Hosh-gel-deniz (welcome).

The relationship between Pakistan and Turkey is unique in inter-state relations – for the depth of mutual trust and abiding commitment.

We just witnessed Turkey’s unfailing support and solidarity again, when our children were mercilessly attacked by terrorists in Peshawar.

I reiterate our profound gratitude to the Turkish people and leadership for solidly standing by us in that extremely difficult hour.

Indeed, both nations have always supported each other through such testing times.

We, in Pakistan, also admire Turkey’s achievements – be these in economic development or contributions to regional and international peace and security.

Turkey’s Presidency of G-20 this year is yet another milestone, on which we congratulate the Turkish leadership.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have just concluded the 4th session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. Our talks were wide-ranging.

The HLSCC provides strategic focus and direction to our bilateral relationship — covering key areas like political cooperation, trade, finance and banking, energy, transport and communications, education, and culture and tourism.

We reaffirmed our joint commitment to continue to transform our special relationship into a strong strategic partnership.

We have agreed to give a central thrust to bilateral trade and investment cooperation. We are embarking on new trade liberalization initiatives and would work towards an FTA.

Our security, defence and counter-terrorism cooperation remains robust.

The MoUs and agreements signed today would further enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse fields – including economic and social sectors.

We have no doubt that Pakistan-Turkey relations would continue to grow from strength to strength – serving as a powerful factor for stability in the region and beyond.

Pakistan and Turkey are pivotal states, playing a vitally important role in their respective regions and crafting effective response to challenges and opportunities.

We exchanged views on the regional situation.

I apprised Prime Minister DavutoÄŸlu of our endeavours for peace, stability and development in South Asia – as part of our vision of a “peaceful neighbourhood.”

I highlighted the efforts Pakistan has made for a good-neighbourly relationship with India and our commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

I expressed the hope that our constructive approach would be reciprocated by the other side, in the interest of regional peace and strategic stability.

I also highlighted the historic new phase we have commenced in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations and the intensifying multi-dimensional cooperation on political, security, counter-terrorism, and trade and economic issues.

We have met today in the backdrop of the Paris attack and its aftermath.

I shared my deep anguish and unreserved condemnation of any attempts to vilify Islam and justify sacrilegious acts towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the name of freedom of expression.

While condemning terrorism in all forms, Pakistan and Turkey have reaffirmed their resolve to work together to oppose any form of Islamophobia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am gratified with the outcome of our extensive talks and the HLSCC meeting, which would place our relationship on an even higher pedestal.

As indispensible partners, Pakistan and Turkey would continue to work closely –making a substantial contribution to peace and development, at the bilateral, regional and international levels.

I thank you and invite Prime Minister DavutoÄŸlu for his remarks.

17 February 2015

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