Qureshi lauds Erdogan's ‘concrete’ stance on Islamophobia in call with Turkish counterpart

28 Oct 2020

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In this Sept 2018 file photo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shakes hands with visiting Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Islamabad. —AP
In this Sept 2018 file photo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shakes hands with visiting Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Islamabad. —AP

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday appreciated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "concrete" stance on rising Islamophobia in a call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

In their wide-ranging telephonic discussion, the two foreign ministers talked about bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest, according to a statement from the Foreign Office. Qureshi offered felicitations to Cavusoglu on Turkey's 97th Republic Day.

"The foreign minister appreciated the Turkish president's concrete stance regarding increasing trend of Islamophobia. The Turkish foreign minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan's statement on Islamphobia is praiseworthy," it added.

Qureshi also thanked Cavusoglu for Turkey's support to Pakistan during the recent session of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in which the watchdog found Pakistan had successfully complied with 21 out of 27 points of action and decided to keep the country on its 'grey list' until February 2021.

Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign minister appreciated Pakistan's success in implementing FATF's action plan, the statement said.

Cavusoglu also expressed sadness over the blast at a madressah in Peshawar a day earlier in which eight people lost their lives and more than 110 others were injured.

Both foreign ministers agreed to continue discussions on regional stability and matters of mutual interest, the statement concluded.

Erdogan vs Macron

Earlier this week, the Turkish president had said French President Emmanuel Macron needed "mental checks" after the latter criticised Islam as a religion "in crisis all over the world" and vowed not to "give up cartoons" depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Erdogan's comments came because, according to him, Macron's statements were encouraging discriminatory treatment of "millions of members" from different faith groups. In response, Paris recalled its envoy to Ankara.

The Turkish leader doubled down on those comments on Sunday, accusing Macron of being "obsessed with Erdogan day and night".

"(Macron) is a case and therefore he really needs to have (mental) checks," he said in a televised speech in the eastern Anatolian city of Malatya.

Erdogan continued on the same offensive tone on Monday as he called on Muslim nations to come to the assistance of Muslims in France. In a speech at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet (PBUH), the Turkish leader accused European leaders of conducting anti-Islam policies.

"You are fascists in the true meaning of the world. You are veritably the link in the Nazi chain", he said in reference to European leaders.