“There is also a joint resolve to translate historic amity into vibrant cooperation in diverse fields, including in the context of combating Islamophobia, promoting Islamic solidarity, and advancing shared goals of regional peace, security and stability”
DESPARDES — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Islamabad on Thursday on a two-day trip and what has now become a tradition for special foreign guests, Prime Minister Imran Khan personally drove President Erdogan and the Turkish first lady from the airport to the Prime Minister House.
Erdogan, who is accompanied on the trip by his cabinet members, senior government officials and leading Turkish business figures, would co-chair with PM Khan the 6th session of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), address a joint session of parliament on Friday for the record fourth time and speak at the Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum.
Officials and observers believe the visit holds great significance against the backdrop of recent regional and international developments.
This will be Erdogan’s second visit to Pakistan since becoming President in 2014. He had also visited twice as the prime minister.
According to Dawn, Khan is expected to invite Turkey to join the Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC). He had in an interview with a Turkish newswire said: “We hope to involve them in using CPEC for further connectivity, and we hope to involve Turkey in this [CPEC]”.
According to Radio Pakistan, the Turkish ambassador said CPEC is nearly completed and that Turkey is interested in becoming a part of special economic zones which will be established under the project.
The prime minister wants Turkish businesses to invest in Pakistan’s mining sector and engage in technology transfer projects.
The two brotherly countries have always been each other’s steadfast partners and have institutionalized their relationship over the years.
In matters of foreign affairs, “Turkey supports the cause of self-determination for the people of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan stands by Turkey on the question of Cyprus,” the Foreign Office said.
“There is also a joint resolve to translate historic amity into vibrant cooperation in diverse fields, including in the context of combating Islamophobia, promoting Islamic solidarity, and advancing shared goals of regional peace, security and stability,” the FO statement added.
PML-N President and opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is currently in London, welcomed Erdogan to Pakistan and extended wishes on behalf of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the opposition.
“President Erdogan represents the honor and courage of the Muslim Ummah,” Shehbaz said in a statement, adding that the Pakistani people are grateful to the Turkish leader for raising his voice against Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.