PM Shehbaz embarks on three-day visit to Turkey today

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will today (Tuesday) embark on a three-day official visit to Turkey to hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on bilateral relations, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Monday.

He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers, special assistants and senior officials.

This will be the prime minister’s first visit to Turkey since assuming office.

Besides covering the entire gamut of bilateral relations, the two leaders will exchange views on regional and international issues.

Both leaders will address a joint press stakeout. President Erdogan will host a dinner in honour of the prime minister.

A business delegation from Pakistan comprising representatives of leading companies across various sectors will separately travel to Turkey to participate in business engagements, the Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.

The premier, along with Erdogan, will also issue a commemorative plaque to mark 75 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, she said.

Also, the Turkish ministers of foreign affairs, trade, and health will call on the prime minister during the visit.

The prime minister will have extensive interaction with leading Turkish businessmen and potential investors from diverse sectors. He will be hosted by the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

The Pakistani delegation is also slated to attend a meeting of the Pak-Turk Business Council and engage with Turkish businessmen and traders.

The relationship between Pakistan and Turkey is underpinned by structured institutional mechanisms.

The High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) is the primary platform at the leadership level, which has been instrumental in further cementing bilateral relations. So far, six sessions of the HLSCC have taken place. The 7th session is slated to take place this year.

The historic and long-standing relations between Pakistan and Turkey are firmly anchored in common faith, shared history, and a glorious tradition of mutual support to each other on issues of core interest.

The Turkish leadership and government have steadfastly supported the just cause of Kashmir.

The two countries share similar views on a range of issues, including Afghanistan, Palestine and Islamophobia.

A large number of Turkish companies have invested more than $1 billion in different sectors in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, the prime minister had proposed turning the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a “trilateral arrangement” between China, Pakistan and Turkey so that all three nations could benefit from its potential.

He had made the remarks while addressing a launching ceremony for the third Milgem corvette built by Turkey, where he was the chief guest. In a video message on the occasion, Erdogan had said his country wanted to share its expertise with Pakistan in the area of defence, adding that the Milgem project was one such example.