By Janet Ekstract
ISTANBUL-The Istanbul Declaration was signed on Thursday this week, between Türkiye, Azerbaijan and Pakistan to commemorate strong cultural and historical ties between the three nations with the purpose of also agreeing to combat racism, xenophobia, Islamaphobia, hate speech and the importance role media plays. Parliament speakers from each country were in Istanbul for the signing hosted by Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop. Also present were Pakistan’s Parliament head Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Azerbaijani Parliament head Sahiba Gafarova. The declaration demonstrates the commitment for the countries to collaborate in all areas as well as deepening inter-parliamentarian dialogue. As Sentop commented: “The more we are united, the more we will stand against violence and terrorism. We will more clearly reject discrimination and Islamophobia.”
The tripartite declaration focuses on the significance of diplomacy, dialogue and cooperation with special emphasis on collaborating to increase regional stability especially to combat terrorism while enhancing security and prosperity. All three nations said they plan to expand and develop cooperation in regional connectivity, transportation, trade, energy, intercultural relations, education, social and cultural exchange programs and tourism. There is also a pledge for a joint effort to fight all terrorist organizations including the Gülen Terror Group known as FETÖ as well as PKK/YPG and Daesh along with others.
Another issue of importance for the three countries is Cyprus with a decision to support a fair, sustainable, realistic and mutually acceptable solution on the issue as well as an equitable settlement of the issues concerning the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions on the basis of international law. At a joint press conference, after the signing, Pakistani Parliament head Ashraf said: “Pakistan will continue to support Turkey’s perspective on Northern Cyprus.” The three parliament speakers also said the declaration supports good relations in the South Caucasus along with reconstruction and rehabilitation of Azerbaijan’s most recently liberated regions in Karabakh. They all reiterated their stance on the conflict between Jammu and Kashmir, agreeing to support a just, peaceful resolution with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolution and the will of the people in those regions. Meanwhile, Azerbaijani Parliament head Gafarova lauded the first of the tripartite cooperation meetings that was established in Azerbaijan in 2021 where the three heads of parliament first gathered and reiterated the significance of the agreement The next scheduled meeting between the three will be in Islamabad, Pakistan next year.