Foreign minister mulls over strengthening defence, trade cooperation with Turkish counterpart

Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar has been holding key meetings with leaders and dignitaries from various countries during his ongoing visit to Banjul, Gambia on the sidelines of the 15th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit.

The foreign minister landed in the West African nation on Wednesday and is leading Pakistan’s delegation to raise the issues of Gaza and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) at the OIC summit from May 4 to 5.

In his interaction with Turkey’s FM Hakan Fidan, both leaders discussed friendly relations between the two brotherly countries along with the commitment to strengthen bilateral ties, especially in the economic, trade, and defence sectors.

Prior to that, Dar met with Azerbaijan’s FM Jeyhun Bayramov wherein the two dignitaries discussed deepening bilateral cooperation in trade, connectivity, energy, and people-to-people contacts and emphasised the importance of dialogue at the political level.

Deputy PM and FM Ishaq Dar meets his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on the sidelines of the 15th OIC Islamic Summit Conference in Banjul, Gambia on May 4, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk
Deputy PM and FM Ishaq Dar meets his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on the sidelines of the 15th OIC Islamic Summit Conference in Banjul, Gambia on May 4, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk

The foreign minister also felicitated the Azeri counterpart on winning the bid to host COP29 summit and expressed Pakistan’s interest in cooperation on climate change.

He also expressed gratitude for Baku’s principled stance on IIOJK.

Dar’s high-level interactions come as the Foreign Office, in its earlier statement, said that the minister will hold bilateral meetings with dignitaries from member countries attending the Summit.

A day earlier, Dar held meetings with delegates of several countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar.

During his interaction with Saudi Arabia’s FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the two sides discussed strengthening strategic and economic ties, and enhancing investments between the two countries while reiterating the call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

They also underscored the significance of OIC’s role in addressing challenges concerning the Muslim Ummah including Islamophobia and the situations in Palestine and Kashmir.

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