Parliament speakers of Ankara, Baku and Islamabad on Thursday signed the Istanbul Declaration as an indicator of the continuation of the strong cultural and historical ties between the three countries.
Hosted by Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop in Istanbul, the meeting was attended by Pakistan’s Parliament head Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Azerbaijan’s Sahiba Gafarova.
The declaration underlined that the three countries will continue to work together in all fields while agreeing to deepen inter-parliamentarian dialogue.
Emphasizing the importance of diplomacy, dialogue and cooperation, the declaration emphasized the importance of comprehensive cooperation between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan in order to increase regional stability, security and prosperity.
It was stated that the countries are determined to further expand cooperation in areas that will contribute to regional connectivity, transportation, trade, energy, relations between peoples, education, social and cultural exchange and tourism.
Furthermore, it was agreed that the countries would act together vis-à-vis common threats.
It was emphasized that a joint effort should be made against all terrorist organizations such as the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the PKK/YPG and Daesh, among others, and their extensions.
Concerns about the threatening rise of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and hate speech around the world were conveyed in the declaration, and the importance of the media in this field was also pointed out.
“The more we are united, the more we will stand against violence and terrorism. We will more clearly reject discrimination and Islamophobia,” Şentop emphasized.
The parties also touched on the issue of Cyprus and said that it was decided to support a fair, sustainable, realistic and mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus issue and the equitable settlement of the issues in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean on the basis of international law.
During a joint press conference following their meeting, Ashraf said: “Pakistan will continue to support Turkey’s perspective on Northern Cyprus.”
On the other hand, support was voiced for good neighborly relations in the South Caucasus as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Azerbaijan’s newly liberated regions in Karabakh.
Furthermore, the sides reaffirmed their principled stance on the Jammu and Kashmir conflict and agreed to support a just and peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the people of the region.
Gafarova for her part, reminded that the first meeting of the heads of the Azerbaijan-Pakistan-Turkey parliaments was held in Azerbaijan last year and a tripartite cooperation format was established between the parliaments of the three countries at the meeting.
The next meeting between the parliament speakers will take place in Islamabad in 2023.
Emphasizing that this format is very important and that the high-level relations between the three brotherly countries are shaped by the continuous development of cooperation in various fields, Gafarova stated that as the parliamentarians of the three countries, they contributed to this process with today’s meeting.