KARACHI: The presidents of Pakistan and Turkey participated in the launch of the first Milgem Class Corvette for Pakistan Navy at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY) on Sunday.
According to information reaching here, President Dr Arif Alvi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan graced the occasion as chief guests.
The First Lady, Samina Alvi, launched the warship with a prayer.
Both the presidents also jointly performed steel cutting of Akhisar, the offshore patrol vessel for Turkish Navy.
Addressing the ceremony, President Dr Alvi said that both countries shared common objectives of promoting peace, stability and development in their respective regions.
Alvi, Erdogan attend ceremony
He said that Pakistan and Turkey were further strengthening their cooperation across various spheres, particularly in defence, to deal with common challenges and new and emerging threats.
Thanking Turkey for the construction of PNS Babur within the timeline, the president emphasised that the project was a testimony of strong relations and expressed the hope that it would further boost defence collaboration between the two brotherly countries.
President Alvi lauded Turkey’s continuing support on the Kashmir dispute and reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering support to Turkey on the Cyprus issue.
In his address, President Erdogan said that Turkey and Pakistan’s brotherhood and friendship were deep rooted in history and the people of Turkey had a special place in their hearts for Pakistan.
He highlighted enhanced collaboration between the two countries in various fields, including defence production.
He said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade was improving and hoped that economic ties would further improve.
President Erdogan stressed the need for closely working together to promote regional peace and stability, including in Afghanistan.
Speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly Mustafa Sentop, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, Chief of the Naval Staff of Pakistan Admiral M. Amjad Khan Niazi, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, Chief of the General Staff Gen Yasar Güler and Commander of Naval Forces Admiral Adnan Özbal also attended the ceremony.
Admiral Niazi in his remarks lauded the great achievement of the Milgem project.
Earlier, on his arrival at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, President Alvi was received by President Erdogan and presented a guard of honour.
The contract for four Milgem class corvettes for Pakistan Navy was signed in 2018. Under the contract, two ships are to be constructed at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the other two at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.
The induction of Milgem warships into Pakistan Navy arsenal will augment its capability and contribute to its efforts to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean region.
Published in Dawn, August 16h, 2021