Prime Minister Imran Khan accompanies Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upon his arrival at Nur Khan airbase on a two-day visit to Pakistan on Thursday. The two would co-chair the sixth meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council on Friday. Later, Mr Erdogan will address a joint session of parliament.—APP
Prime Minister Imran Khan accompanies Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upon his arrival at Nur Khan airbase on a two-day visit to Pakistan on Thursday. The two would co-chair the sixth meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council on Friday. Later, Mr Erdogan will address a joint session of parliament.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Dr Arif Alvi, during a meeting on Thursday, underscored the importance of fully realising the immense potential of relationship between the two countries and transforming it into a strong and dynamic trade and economic partnership, according to a tweet from the official handle of the president of Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, President Erdogan opened his two-day trip to Pakistan that aims to bolster traditional friendship between the two countries by injecting greater strategic content in it and developing stronger trade and economic relations.

President Erdogan and Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan were received at Nur Khan Airbase by Prime Minister Imran Khan and members of the federal cabinet. Mr Erdogan is leading a high level delegation comprising his cabinet ministers, senior officials and top Turkish corporate leaders.

“Khush Amdeed, Welcome, Hosgeldiniz to our honoured guests. The People and Government of Pakistan welcome you to your second home,” Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui tweeted shortly after Mr Erdogan’s arrival. In another tweet with a picture of two children presenting bouquets to Mr and Mrs Erdogan, she said: “This is a relationship of love passed on from one generation to the next”.

PM Khan, in what is now becoming part of reception of leaders from countries having special ties with Pakistan, personally drove Mr Erdogan to the Prime Minister’s House where the Turkish president was presented guard of honour at the formal welcome ceremony.

Turkish president arrives on two-day visit to bolster traditional friendship

President Erdogan and his delegation later left for the President House for a meeting with President Arif Alvi.

This is Mr Erdogan’s fourth visit to Islamabad and second since assuming presidency in 2014.

The Turkish president’s schedule for Friday is pretty packed. He will meet Prime Minister Khan for discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues. The two would co-chair the sixth meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), which steers the bilateral relationship. There are seven joint working groups under the HLSCC working on political coordination, trade and investment, energy, banking and finance, transport and communications, culture and tourism and education.

HLSCC meetings are held alternatively in Islamabad and Ankara.

Later, there would be a signing ceremony of the memorandums of understanding and accords finalised during the meeting.

Mr Khan and Mr Erdogan would together speak to media.

Mr Erdogan would address a joint session of the parliament for the record fourth time by any world leader.

PM Khan and President Erdogan would also speak at a meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum.

PM Khan is expected to invite Turkey to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He had said in an interview with a Turkish newswire: “We hope to involve them in using CPEC for further connectivity, and we hope to involve Turkey in this [CPEC]”.

Mr Khan wants Turkish businesses to invest in Pakistan’s mining sector and engage in technology transfer projects.

About the proposals for promoting economic ties, the Foreign Office said: “Both sides place a strong emphasis on forging a robust economic relationship”.

Announcing Mr Erdogan’s visit, the FO said that it would underscore “traditional solidarity and affinity” between the two countries and further “deepen and broaden the flourishing Pakistan-Turkey strategic partnership”.

The two countries are also planning “vibrant cooperation” in tackling Islamophobia, promoting Islamic solidarity, and advancing shared goals of regional peace, security and stability.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020