ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for Turkey on Monday for a three-day visit on the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to promote trade and economic ties between the two countries.

During his stay in Turkey, the prime minister will also meet President Abdullah Gul and co-chair the third session of the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC).

The HLCC was established during Mr Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan in October 2009.

Its first session was held in December 2010 in Ankara and the second in May 2012 in Islamabad.

The council is mandated to oversee the partnership and intensify cooperation between the two countries. Key cabinet ministers and senior officials will accompany Mr Sharif.

The premier’s talks with the Turkish leadership and his interaction with Turkish businessmen are expected to serve as an opportunity to look for ways and means to fulfil Pakistan’s desire for forging a strategic partnership with Turkey, aimed at bringing a qualitative and quantitative change in economic and trade relations.

Mr Sharif will discuss with the Turkish leadership regional and global issues, particularly the developments in the Middle East.

Several memorandum of understandings and agreements covering a wide range of areas such as security, finance, housing, education, culture, science and technology and trade are expected to be signed during the visit.

Prime Minister Sharif will also address a business forum in Istanbul to be attended by Turkish investors and entrepreneurs.—APP

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