By Sibel Morrow and Faruk Zorlu
ANKARA (AA) – The issue of Kashmir is as important to Turkey as it is to Pakistan, Turkey’s president said on Monday.
“The Kashmir problem can be solved not by conflict or oppression, but on the basis of justice and equity,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate during his official visit to the country.
His remarks come some seven months into a lockdown on Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian-administered section of the disputed Kashmir region, a move widely decried by human rights groups as well as the global Islamic community.
In his record fourth address to Pakistan’s parliament, Erdogan also addressed the situation in Idlib, northwestern Syria, saying that Turkey's latest steps in the province’s de-escalation zone are meant to prevent the Assad regime from killing 4 million oppressed people using barrel bombs.
Pakistan stands with Turkey’s righteous cause, despite others who work to protect terrorists, he said, referring to Turkey’s anti-terrorist Operation Peace Spring, launched last October, in northwestern Syria.
“Turkey will continue supporting Pakistan in its fight against terrorism,” he added.
Erdogan also said Turkey would support Pakistan against the application of political pressure by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force.
On the so-called Deal of the Century on Jerusalem, announced last month by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House to widespread condemnation, Erdogan blasted the plan as “an occupation project.”