islamabad - President Mamoon Hussain has expressed his satisfaction over defence cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey.

Talking to Turkish parliamentary delegation led by Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ismail Kahraman yesterday, the President noted with appreciation that the training facilities in both the countries are being utilised by the defence personnel of the two brotherly countries.

He thanked Turkey for providing trainer aircraft to Pakistan Air Force and expressed his optimism that collaboration between the two countries in the defence sector will further grow in future. The President also stressed the need for enhanced bilateral cooperation to combat the menace of terrorism.

The President condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and said that terrorists have no religion. President Hussain said that the misguided elements involved in terrorism are tarnishing the image of Islam.

He emphasized that Islam is a religion of peace and such barbaric acts cannot be condoned.

The President expressed his deepest condolences over the loss of many lives in the recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities, and assured Kahraman that people and the government of Pakistan stand in strong solidarity with Turkey and are ready to assist in any way possible.

President Hussain said that the current level of trade between the two countries is not commensurate with the actual potential and called for sustained efforts to raise the volume of trade.

He said that process for Free Trade Agreement between the two countries needs to be expedited to bolster bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey.

The Speaker of Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ismail Kahraman said that Pakistan and Turkey are facing the common problem of terrorism and hoped that with mutual cooperation, the two countries will soon get rid of this menace and expressed his sympathies for the victims of terrorism in Pakistan.

He praised Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and hoped that the peace initiative will achieve success. While acknowledging support of Indian Muslims during Turks’ struggle for freedom, the Turkish speaker said that the Turkish people and leadership hold the people and the government of Pakistan in the highest esteem.

He expressed his country’s support for the people of Kashmir and called for unity of Muslim Ummah to overcome their problems.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui called on President Hussain yesterday and briefed him about the performance of educational and literary institutions.