Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a joint session of Parliament today (Friday).
He arrived in Islamabad on Thursday evening on a two-day visit on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
This was the fourth time President Erdogan addressed Pakistan’s Parliament and made him the foreign leader with the highest number of Pakistani Parliament addresses.
He spoke in October 2009, May 2012 and November 2017.
The joint chiefs of staff are also at Parliament for the address.
He was welcomed to the House by MNAs and senators pounding their desks. The national anthems of Pakistan and Turkey were played in the assembly ahead of his address.
President Erdogan’s speech
President Erdogan began his speech by thanking the MNAs and senators. He also praised his welcome in Islamabad.
I have never felt like a stranger in Pakistan, he said, adding that he feels like he is in his own home. He also lauded the closeness between Pakistanis and Turks.
I extend the well wishes and greetings of the people and parliamentarians of Turkey, he said. We share a common history.
Relations between Pakistan and Turkey were set by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal, he said.
Pakistani women sold their jewelry to support Turkey’s independence movement, he said, adding that Turkey could never forget the people who lined up to pray for it.
How could we forget the people who didn’t abandon us, despite being threatened, he asked.
Kashmir is the same to us as it is to you, he said.
Kashmiris have been faced with difficulties for years, he said. “Our prayers are with the people of Palestine, Cyprus and Kashmir.”
Pakistan has proven to be a close friend of Turkey, he said. It has helped us, he added. We will continue this close relationship, Erdogan vowed.
The Turkish president vowed to support Pakistan before the FATF. He appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism. We will continue to work with Pakistan to fight terrorism, he said.
“Pakistan’s pain is our pain, its success is our success.”
Discussing Trump’s Middle East peace plan, he said it wasn’t a peace plan, it was an occupation plan.
He will have a one-on-one meeting with the premier today. He already met the president in a separate meeting. PM Khan and President Erdogan will discuss relations between the two countries, defence and railways, among other things.
President Erdogan will offer his Friday prayers at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad and also attend the Pak-Turk Business Forum meeting.