Speaker of Grand National Assembly of Turkey meets President

Islamabad, July 18, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Pakistan highly values its fraternal relations with Turkey and was keen to further strengthen its multifaceted relations with Turkey which had transcended the governmental level and permeated to the level of their peoples.

During his meeting with the Speaker of Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mr. Cemil Cicek here at Aiwan-e-Sadr today, the President terming Pakistan and Turkey as vibrant democracies said that the Parliaments of the two countries and their members could play a critical role in strengthening and deepening the special relationship.

Mr. Cemil Cicek was accompanied by Ms. Ozlem Yemisct, Deputy of Tekirdag, Mr. Burhan Kayaturk, Deputy of Van and Co-Chairman of Turkey-Pakistan Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group, Mr. Oktay Ozturk, Deputy of Erzurum, Ambassador Mustafa Babar Hizlan and other officials.

Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Secretary General Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Sughra Imam and other officials were also present during the meeting.

Welcoming Speaker Grand National Assembly of Turkey and his delegation to Pakistan, the President expressed the hope that his visit will deepen the friendship between the Parliaments and the two countries.

He said that it was a matter of great pleasure to note that Pak-Turk Friendship Group is the largest in Turkish Grand National Assembly.

The President said that evolving democracies throughout the world could learn a lot from the experience of Turkey in democratic evolution.

The President said that the frequent exchanges of parliamentary delegations between Pakistan and Turkey would provide an opportunity to learn from each other and work together for strengthening of democracies and democratic institutions.

The President also mentioned important legislative measures undertaken by the Pakistani Parliament to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions. Restoration of 1973 constitution to its original form, 18th Constitutional Amendment, devolving executive and legislative powers to the provinces, introduction of wide-ranging reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, steps taken for safeguarding the rights of minorities, legislative measures to introduce democratic culture in the governance pattern making it more transparent and all-inclusive, and similar other measures were some of the important steps in our march towards strengthening of democracy, the President said.

Discussing bilateral relations, the President said that Turkish leadership is held in great esteem among the people of Pakistan. Referring to Prime Minister Erdogan’s recent address to the Pakistani Parliament, the President said that his address was widely appreciated as frank and sincere advice from the leader of a brotherly country.

He said that the people of Pakistan deeply appreciate the role of Turkish leadership in further strengthening historical relations between the two countries. The President said that we greatly admire giant strides that Turkey has made on the road to socio-economic progress under its visionary leadership. People-centric policies and the welfare agenda pursued by the Turkish leadership has made a qualitative impact in improving the lives of citizens in Turkey and Pakistan was keen to learn from the Turkey’s experience, the President said.

The President also reiterated the proposal to declare 2013 as “Turkey Year” in Pakistan and “Pakistan Year” in Turkey.

Speaker Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mr. Cemil Cicek thanked the President for the warm welcome extended to him and his delegation and reiterated the desire of the Turkish leadership to further deepen and broaden the relationship between the two countries.

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