Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will arrive in Pakistan on Thursday (today) on a two-day visit during which he is set to address a joint sitting of Parliament, according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
The curtain raiser issued by the Foreign Office notes that Erdogan is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He would be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising cabinet members, government officials and head and CEOs of leading Turkish corporations in a bid to expand economic ties and strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations.
“During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Erdogan will have tete-a-tete, after which they will co-chair the 6th Session of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in the joint cabinet format,” says the statement, adding that a joint declaration would be signed at the conclusion of the session. “A number of important agreements/Memorandums of Understanding are expected to be concluded,” it added.
Erdogan would also have a one-on-one meeting with President Arif Alvi. He is also scheduled to conduct a joint address, alongside P.M. Khan, to the Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum, which is bringing together leading investors and businesspersons from both countries.
“The High Level Strategic Cooperation Council is the highest-level decision-making forum, providing strategic direction to further strengthening of relations between the two countries,” says the Foreign Office, adding that there are seven Joint Working Groups working under the Council. These focus on political coordination; trade and investment; energy; banking and finance; transport and communications; culture and Tourism; and education. The Council meeting in Islamabad would mark its sixth session, with the previous five having alternated between Islamabad and Ankara.
“Pakistan and Turkey have a unique and abiding relationship characterized by mutual support and exceptional mutual trust and understanding. The two brotherly countries have always been each other’s steadfast partners,” says the Foreign Office statement, taking special note of Ankara’s support for the right to self-determination of the people of India-held Kashmir. “Pakistan stands by Turkey on the question of Cyprus,” it adds, referring to Northern Cyprus, which the international community considers a part of the Republic of Cyprus.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Erdogan, Pakistan-Turkey relations have further fortified into an enduring partnership. Both sides place a strong emphasis on forging a robust economic relationship. 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,” it says, adding the two-day trip will serve to emphasize the “traditional solidarity and affinity between the two countries, and prove to be another significant milestone in the further deepening and broadening of the flourishing Pakistan-Turkey strategic partnership.”