Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan vow to deepen ties
Serkan Demirtaş - ISLAMABAD
Top diplomats of Turkey, Pakistan and Azerbaijan have agreed to take concrete steps to further deepen their bilateral and trilateral ties at the three-way meeting held in Islamabad, vowing support to each other in disputes concerning Nagorno-Karabakh, Cyprus and Jammu and Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi came together at the second round of Trilateral Dialogue on Jan. 13.
The ministers issued the “Islamabad Declaration” following their meeting and held a joint press conference. They agreed to enhance their joint efforts in combating particularly Islamophobia, discrimination and persecution of Muslim minorities at the regional and international fora and renewed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in peace and security in line with various international and regional instruments to combat all forms and manifestations of terrorism, transnational organized crime, trafficking of drugs, narcotics, human trafficking, money laundering, crimes against cultural and historical heritage and cybercrimes,” according to the declaration.
“[The ministers] expressed deep concern over the unilateral actions of Aug. 5, 2019, continuing human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and over the efforts to change its demographic structure, and reiterated their principled position for a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions,” it said.
They have also expressed their support to a just, sustainable, realistic, and mutually acceptable settlement of the Cyprus issue, as well as the issues in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean on the basis of international law. On Nagorno-Karabakh, the ministers “reiterated their support for putting an end to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and normalization of relations on the basis of sovereignty and territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan in accordance with the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
At the press conference, Çavuşoğlu said that they have agreed to take important steps to improve security, stability and prosperity between the three brotherly countries, especially in the fields of transportation and energy.
The foreign ministerial meeting allowed them to assess the regional developments in Jammu and Kashmir, Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Afghanistan, Çavuşoğlu said, stressing the importance of the human rights violations and demographic changes in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are of the belief that unilateral steps will further complicate the situation,” he added.
Azerbaijan’s Bayramov hailed the support of Turkey and Pakistan in solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and invited Pakistani and Turkish firms to help rebuild the Karabakh region recently liberated from the Armenian occupation.
Qureshi thanked his counterparts for attending the meeting, noting that the top diplomats decided to intensify and deepen the trilateral cooperation. He thanked Ankara for its consistent support to Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.