Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan on Wednesday agreed to strengthen cooperation in diverse fields and people-to-people ties, as well as continue to support each other on all issues involving the national interests of the three countries. The understanding was reached between the foreign ministers of the three countries at the second Pakistan-Turkey-Azerbaijan trilateral meeting, hosted by Islamabad. Speaking at a joint press conference after the meeting, titled ‘Islamabad Declaration’, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reiterated the brotherly relations of Pakistan with Turkey and Azerbaijan, saying the three countries have resolved to enhance cooperation amongst them. He said the ministers had exchanged views on trade, investment, people-to-people relations, security and other subjects. They also discussed how to deal with common challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and Islamophobia, as well as human rights violations against Muslim minorities across the region. “We want to enhance [our] linkages through parliamentary exchanges, enhanced media interaction and collaboration between our think tanks, artists and tourists,” Qureshi said, adding that his Turkish and Azeri counterparts had appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process. “We reiterated our determination to support one another on all issues of our core national interests,” he added. The foreign minister said the people of Pakistan and Kashmiris remained profoundly grateful to Turkey and Azerbaijan for their principled and steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He said he had informed the ministers about the evolving situation and the dire situation of human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including the prolonged military siege and deliberate, unilateral and illegal actions to make demographic changes in the valley. Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s resolute support for efforts towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of “political equality of the two communities”. He said Pakistan had consistently called for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. “We exchanged views on how to increase cooperation to combat all forms of terrorism including terrorism sponsored by foreign states,” he told the presser. In his remarks, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov thanked Pakistan and Turkey for supporting Baku during the second Karabakh war and for condemning ‘Armenian occupation and war crimes’. “They raised their voices in the international arena to restore justice and we highly appreciate this principled position by Turkey and Pakistan,” he said. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he was very pleased to visit brother Pakistan once again, and thanked Qureshi for organising a successful trilateral meeting. “Pakistan has a unique place in our hearts and we support each other in difficult times and the help during the pandemic is an example,” the Turkish minister said, adding that his country wanted to hold the seventh meeting of the high-level strategic council in Turkey. He noted that the trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey was around $800 million. “Obviously it doesn’t reflect the true potential of both the countries so we want to bring dynamism in our economic cooperation,” he said. “We are happy to see Turkish investors in Pakistan and we are encouraging [them] to increase their investment. There are around 100 Turkish companies active and we are expanding our cooperation in the defence industry as well,” he added.