PR No.3 Islamabad

First lady Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain and First lady of Republic of Turkey Mrs. Emine Erdogan have said that relations between Pakistan, Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have always enjoyed special fraternal bonds and both have stood by each other in moments of sorrow and joy.

The First Ladies expressed these views during a meeting here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Wednesday. Begum Kalsoom Nawaz and Minister for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Maryam Aurangzeb were also present on the occasion.

Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain stated that the people of Pakistan have immense goodwill for the people of Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as we are bound by ties of history, faith and culture. In her introductory remarks, she said that Pakistan and Turkey enjoy special relations and both support each other in difficult hour. The First Lady stated that time-tested and flourishing brotherly ties between Pakistan and Turkey, underpinned by strong bonds of goodwill, mutual trust and understanding, are embedded deep in a common cultural and religious heritage noting that we have like-minded approaches towards many problems facing the world today and support each other on various international fora.

The First Lady appreciated Mrs. Emine for her personal efforts for the flood-stricken people of Pakistan in 2010 adding that her fund raising campaign for the flood victims would always be remembered by the people of Pakistan. She lauded Mrs. Emine for her enormous contributions and life-long commitment in empowering women in Turkey. Begum Mahmooda said that the various social initiatives taken by Turkish First Lady in educating girls, reducing harmful effects of social stratification and struggle against child labour have been a source of inspiration for all the women around the world.

The First Lady apprised that several initiatives are being taken to empower and improve the lives of women in all spheres adding that women in Pakistan are now playing an important role in politics as well as public and private sectors.

She added that she firmly believed that educating girls would help in educating the whole society and the future generations and it is heartening to note that today more girls go to school in Pakistan compared to a decade ago and the female literacy rate is showing constant improvement. She expressed optimism that the future of women in our brotherly nations would be brighter and promising.

First Lady of Republic of Turkey said that she considers Pakistan her second home and expressed optimism that bilateral relations between the two countries will reach new heights in future. First lady of Republic of Turkey Mrs. Emine Erdogan and First Lady of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mrs. Meral Akinciexpressed gratitude for being accorded warm welcome in Pakistan.

Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain hoped that the visiting dignitaries’ stay in Pakistan will be fruitful, productive and enjoyable. Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain also hosted a luncheon in honour of worthy guests.