Turkey PM visits flood-hit areas in Pakistan

MULTAN: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyap Erdogan and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani after a brief stopover at Multan left for the flood-hit Mehmoodabad area of Muzaffargarh.Gilani and the visiting Turkish dignitary were received at the Multan Airport by Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif before they flew to Mehmoodabad by helicopter.Erdogan said “I hope that Pakistani people would preserve unity and integrity. You should not allow those who aim at spoiling unity in Pakistan. You should exert efforts to establish a more powerful Pakistan.”Delivering a speech in flood-hit Multan region in Pakistan, Erdogan said that there were also some who aimed to spoil unity of Pakistan.Addressing Pakistani people, Erdogan said, “We should be hand in hand. We should work for a more powerful Pakistan and more powerful Turkey.”Erdogan said there were also those who wanted to divide the Islamic world.Turkey’s prime minister said that it was natural for Turkey and Pakistan to help each other in hard times.Erdogan said Pakistan had not left Turkey alone during its War of Independence and after Turkey was hit by a massive earthquake in 1999.“It is natural for peoples of the two countries to help each other in such times as they love each other,” Erdogan said in a ceremony in Pakistan.

During the ceremony, 1,600 large tents provided by Turkish Red Crescent after the flood disaster in Pakistan were distributed to flood victims.Erdogan said Turkey wanted to see the needs of Pakistan, carry out infrastructural works and leave behind permanent projects in the region.Turkey and Pakistan could cooperate in military, political, economic and commercial areas, Erdogan said.Erdogan also said Turkey and Pakistan could make joint investments in transportation, energy, agriculture and construction.

Earlier, Turkish Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu said that they would discuss with Pakistani officials construction of dams in Pakistan.Eroglu is accompanying Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is paying a formal visit to Pakistan.Eroglu told that they would hold meetings with Pakistani officials and discuss construction of dams in the flood regions in Pakistan.

He added that officials from Turkey’s Directorate General of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) would extend support to such projects.Pakistan’s worst-ever floods killed nearly two thousand people and left more than 18 million people homeless.So far, Turkey has sent and 25 million USD of humanitarian aid to Pakistan.Erdogan said, regarding Israeli raid on aid flotilla bound for Gaza in May 2010 that Israel should apologize to Turkey over its attack and it should pay compensation.In regard to Israeli raid, Erdogan said that Israel should apologize to Turkey and pay compensation. If Israel does not do that, it would be alone in the Middle East.”Nine people, including eight Turkish citizens and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, were killed when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in international waters on May 31. Around 30 people were wounded in the attack – Sananews