Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday appreciated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Prime Minister Imran Khan appreciated Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for once again raising voice for the rights of the Kashmiri people, during his address to the UNGA.

The support of Turkey remains a source of strength and encouragement for the Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom, he said.

Opposition Leader, Shehbaz Sharif also expressed gratitude to President Erdogan for raising the Kashmir issue. “Kashmiris will remember him as their great friend who advocated their right to self-determination at every forum of the world.”

Erdogan, in his address via video-link on Tuesday, called the Kashmir conflict — which he said was also key to the stability and peace of South Asia — “a burning issue”.

“Steps which were taken for the abolition of the status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir further complicated the matter. We are in favor of solving this issue through dialogue according to the UN resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir.”

Meanwhile, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations T.S. Tirumurti called Erdogan’s remarks “gross interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

“Turkey should respect the sovereignty of the nations and should reflect on its own policies,” said Tirumurti.

Since Aug 5, 2019, when India illegally merged the occupied territory with it and imposed a communication lockdown as well as a curfew, Pakistan has raised the Kashmir issue three times inside the council with China’s support.

The Indians, however, argue that the merger — although illegal — has ended the disputed nature of occupied Kashmir, and therefore it should be removed from the council’s agenda.

Turkey has repeatedly backed Pakistan’s stance on the issue as Prime Minister Imran called attention to India’s actions in occupied Kashmir on international platforms.

In a call with President Arif Alvi in August, Erdogan had assured his country’s support for Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue.

The annual meetings of the United Nations began in New York on Monday with Kashmir on the agenda as an unresolved dispute. The world body ignored India’s efforts to remove the Kashmir issue from the UN Security Council’s agenda for this year.

The current session, which is the 75th session, is unique in the world body’s history with leaders not attending in person and other meetings being held online.

The president, according to Daily Sabah, said racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and hate speech have reached an “alarming level”.

Muslims are mostly exposed to these dangerous tendencies fueled by prejudice and ignorance.

“Those who are primarily accountable for this dangerous course are politicians who turn to rhetoric for the sake of votes and marginal segments who legitimize hate speech by abusing the freedom of expression.”

He reiterated his concern over the terrorism perpetrated in New Zealand against Muslims which is declared by the United Nations as ‘International Solidarity Day Against Islamophobia’.

Speaking on Israel and Palestine, he said, this issue could only be solved with an independent, sovereign Palestine with geographical continuity and east Jerusalem as its capital”.

 Those Countries that voice their intention to open an embassy in Jerusalem only serve to further complicate the (Palestine-Israel) conflict, Erdogan was quoted as saying. “Turkey will not support any plan that the Palestinian people don’t give consent to.”

According to the Turkish daily, Israel’s UN envoy who participated in the UNGA in-person meetings walked out of the hall during Erdogan’s address.

His comments follow the signing of accords between Israel and therefore the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Washington a week ago, which Palestinians deem a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their struggle for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.

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