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Friday Feb 14 2020
Web Desk

Consider Pakistan my second home, says Turkish President Erdogan

Web Desk
President Erdogan and PM Imran Khan during a meeting in Islamabad. PHOTO BY: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE

ISLAMABAD: President Erdogan said on Friday he considered Pakistan his "second home", thanking Pakistanis for their warm welcome during his two-day visit to the country. 

Pakistan and Turkey signed 12 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on Friday after a high-level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting of the two sides. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Erdogan were present during the signing ceremony. Senior members of the federal cabinet and Turkish government were present during the ceremony as well. 

Addressing a joint press conference, the Turkish president thanked the people and government of Pakistan for according him a warm welcome. 

"I consider Pakistan my second home," he said. "Turkey stands with Pakistan and will continue to do so."

Erdogan thanked "his brother Imran" for taking action against militants and terrorists based in Pakistan. The Turkish president said that Pakistan and Afghanistan were both "brotherly nations" and Turkey would like to promote relations between the two "brotherly nations".

He said that the Kashmir issue could be solved peacefully and in line with the UN resolutions on the occupied territory. 

PM Imran said that a new chapter had been opened in Pakistan-Turkey ties. He appreciated President Erdogan's speech from earlier during the day at the parliament. 

"Ever since President Erdogan became the chief executive of Turkey, our bilateral relations have improved," he said. PM Imran said that when Erdogan became president, Turkey's economy improved significantly. 

PM Imran said Turkey earned $35 billion annually from the tourism sector and lauded Turkey for building a housing scheme for the poor. He said Pakistan should learn from Erdogan's experience and maximise its tourism potential as well. 

The prime minister lashed out at the Indian government, saying that it had kept eight million people hostage in occupied Kashmir. He said that India had filled its jail with young people. 

Earlier, Erdogan addressed the Pakistani parliament where he spoke out against India's "unilateral steps" in occupied Kashmir and spoke out against Indian atrocities. 

He had said that depriving Kashmiris from their freedom and usurping their rights was not in anyone's interest.