Erdogan to arrive in Pakistan on Thursday

Islamabad:Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is slated to arrive in Pakistan on Thursday on a two-day official visit, which officials and observers believe, hold great significance against the backdrop of regional and international developments.

Erdogan is leading a high-powered delegation comprising cabinet ministers, senior government officials, as well as heads of CEOs of leading Turkish corporations.

The visit comes at a time when Pakistan is trying to control damage caused because of its absence from the Kuala Lumpur summit Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad hosted last December to discuss issues facing the Muslim Umman and suggest way forward, The Express Tribune said in a report.

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Initially, Prime Minister Imran Khan was to attend the summit but pulled out at the last minute citing concerns expressed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the gathering of leaders from Malaysia, Turkey, Iran and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia viewed the summit as an attempt by certain Islamic countries to create a new bloc within the Muslim world. However, host Malaysia and Pakistan dismissed such perceptions.

A statement, issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday said that during the visit, Khan and Erdogan will have one-on-one discussion, after which they will co-chair the 6th Session of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in the joint cabinet format.

At the conclusion of the session, a Joint Declaration will be signed. A number of important agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) are expected to be concluded.

Erdogan will also separately meet President Arif Alvi and the former will also address a joint session of parliament.

This will be the fourth time that Erdogan addresses the Pakistani parliament, a Dawn news report said.

The Turkish President was scheduled to pay an official visit to Pakistan on October 23, 2019.

But the visit, however, was postponed after Turkey’s involvement with a military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria that raised tensions with Washington and other Western nations.

Erodgan last visited Pakistan in 2016 when he had addressed Parliament.

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