We cannot let terrorists incriminate Muslims, Erdoğan says in Pakistan
AA photoMuslim nations cannot permit terror organizations to incriminate Muslims, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 1 in an address to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Islamabad.
“We have to drag these herds of murderers out of our territory. We can never allow Muslims to be incriminated because of the inhuman killings of these terrorist organizations,” Erdoğan said at the summit.
“We must also be careful about the schemes that bid to drag our region into ethnical and sectarian clashes and chaos.
Muslim countries cannot put their stability in danger “for the interests of foreign countries in the region,” he said. Our first duty is to extinguish the fire of sedition in places like Syria, Iraq and Yemen and stop the bloodshed,” he added.
The president also called for increased solidarity “with our brothers in the northern Cyprus” which is “subjected to unjustified isolation.”
The president noted the need for resolutions to political disputes between the members of ECO while calling for joint efforts to tackle terrorism.
“We need to take matters into our own hands,” he said.
The Turkish leader also brought up the situation of occupied Nagorno-Karabakh two days after an Azerbaijani soldier was killed in a border clash with Armenian forces, underlining that 20 years of negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia had not resulted in a solution to the conflict.
“We, particularly, cannot ignore the Upper Karabakh issue,” Erdoğan said.
He also said the international mediation body – the Minsk Group – had failed to find a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict.
The president urged ECO countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to work together to find a solution to the conflict, stressing that Armenia’s “occupier attitude” should be addressed at each international meeting.
Erdoğan meets Rouhani
In a speech at the same event, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said ECO could play a vital role in building the economic future of the region, but he also called for the restructuring of the organization.
“Connectivity will help development and prosperity in the region,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani and Erdoğan also staged a separate meeting on the sidelines of the summit.
Erdoğan also met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Mustafa Akıncı, president of Turkish Cyprus, which has observer status in the bloc, said his country wanted to contribute more effectively to the organization’s work. He asked ECO for its support in the tourism and education sectors.
“We want to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue,” Akıncı added.
ECO’s 13th summit concluded after the leaders adopted the Islamabad Declaration and Vision 2025, which called for greater regional cooperation and integration over the next decade.
Speaking later at a press conference, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the ECO Vision-2025 set pragmatic and realistic goals, as well as an implementation framework.
ECO was founded by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan in 1985.
In 1992, the organization expanded to include seven new members, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui also attended this year’s summit and placed an emphasis on connectivity.