Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey will send a 10-member delegation to China's northwestern East Turkistan region after discussing the situation of Uighur Turks with his Chinese counterpart.

Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu attends Trilateral Meeting of Thailand, Turkey and ASEAN Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand on July 30, 2019.
Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu attends Trilateral Meeting of Thailand, Turkey and ASEAN Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand on July 30, 2019. (AA)

Turkey will send an observation team to East Turkistan, the Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday after discussing the situation of Uighur Turks in northwest China with his Chinese counterpart.

"We're preparing a delegation [to East Turkistan] of experts from different institutions … We want our Uighur brothers and sisters to live in peace under the roof of China," said Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Cavusoglu said Turkey received a formal invitation from China on July 24 and "we will send a delegation of 10 people from different organisations to that region to observe the situation."

"We evaluated these issues with the Chinese foreign minister today," he said in Bangkok on the sidelines of the 52nd Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Thailand's capital. 

China has faced a growing international outcry for setting up what it calls "vocation training centres" to combat extremism in East Turkistan, home to about a million Muslim Uighur people who speak a Turkic language, which many Western countries view as "internment camps."

Turkey is the only Muslim nation to have regularly expressed concern about the situation in East Turkistan, including in February at the UN Human Rights Council, to China's anger. 

#ASEAN toplantısında ikili görüşmelere Filipinler DB Teodoro Locsin Jr ile başladık. #Tükiye-#Filipinler diplomatik...

Posted by Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday, July 29, 2019

Trade and defence with Philippines

Earlier, Cavusoglu said Turkey is looking to increase trade volume and defence industry cooperation with the Philippines.

He held bilateral talks with his Philippine counterpart Teodoro Locsin Jr and also met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

ASEAN was formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in Bangkok and was later joined by five other countries.

Turkey was granted the status of Sectoral Dialogue Partner in 2017.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies