Lending support to Turkey

Pakistan came in support of Turkey, which is embroiled in an intense dispute with the United States that has seen Lira tumble, saying solution to all bilateral issues lies in “dialogues of mutual understanding and goodwill.”Pakistan is in principle opposed to the imposition of “unilateral sanctions,” said a statement issued by Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal. It was in an apparent reference to the sanctions imposed by the US on Turkey. The spokesman said actions other than dialogue “only undermines the peace and stability and solution to a problem becomes difficult and intractable.”

Terming Turkey a “vital member and engine of global economy,” FO spokesman said Pakistan greatly appreciates Ankara’s role towards regional and international peace and stability.”“The People and Government of Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the government and people of Turkey in their quest for peace and prosperity,” said the spokesperson, adding that Islamabad will continue to stand by Turkish people “as always.”

The US slapped sanctions on two Turkish officials earlier this month over a detained American Pastor who is being tried on espionage and terror related charges. Last Friday, President Donald Trump authorized doubling of tariffs on import of aluminum and steel from Turkey. The tariff on aluminum was increased to 20 percent and tariff on steel was raised to 50 percent. The trade war against Turkey resulted in a rapid downward slide against the US dollar. Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the crash of Turkish Lira as a “political plot” and vowed that Ankara would now seek new markets and partners.

The US war goods industry consumes imported steel and increasing tariff on import of steel from its allies like Turkey and Canada will certainly make its exportable weapons very expensive. If all the US trade partners that export steel to it explore new markets it will certainly give a big jolt to its war goods industry as the importing counties will seek comparatively cheaper sources of arms supply.

There is another dimension to tension between the United States and Turkey. The latter extended support to the US favoured rebels fighting against Bashara al Asad regime in Syria. But the United States and its western allies stabbed Turkey in the back by giving support to Kurd militant groups of PKK and PYD operating from their bases in Kurd region of Syria. Turkey has also alleged the US is supporting Feto a militant group affiliated with Turkish religious scholar Fetahullah Golan, who lives in the United States. Mr. Golan is regarded as brain behind the botched military coup in Turkey in 2016. The United States and Turkey are members of NATO and Turkey hosts a number of bases of this military alliance. Turkey is already drifting away from the US and getting closer to Russia. The strained relations between these two allies will impact the situation in Syria. Hence Pakistan’s stance on the dispute between Turkey and the US is correct.



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