KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan’s foreign minister telephoned his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday to discuss issues relating to regional security and the rising trend of Islamophobia.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Mevlut Cavusoglu, according to a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, also discussed ways to improve bilateral relations and further mutual interests.

Qureshi hailed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his “consistent” stand against rising Islamophobia, the statement said.

He also thanked Ankara for its consistent support to Islamabad in its efforts to come out of the gray list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — a global terror financing watchdog.

In addition to the FATF’s crucial meeting last week, Turkey has time and again thrown its weight behind Pakistan, which has been on the global money-laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018 when it was placed on its gray list for alleged terrorist financing and money laundering.

The South Asian nuclear nation has since twice escaped being placed on the watchdog’s financial crime blacklist with the support of Turkey, China and Malaysia.

Cavusoglu, the statement said, appreciated Islamabad’s “successful” efforts to comply with FATF’s Action Plan in recent months.

The Turkish top diplomat also offered his condolences over Tuesday’s bomb blast in a religious seminary attached to a mosque in southwestern Peshawar city, which killed eight students and injured over 100.

He also hailed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for his stand against Islamophobia.

The two foreign ministers agreed to continue consultations and cooperation on matters relating to regional peace and security in future.

Qureshi also congratulated the government and the people of Turkey on their 97th Republic Day, which will be celebrated on Oct. 29.

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