Visiting Turkish president meets Pakistani counterpart

– Arif Alvi hosts reception in honor of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

By Islamuddin Sajid and Aamir Latif

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Thursday hosted a reception in honor of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the capital Islamabad.

The reception was held at the President House hours after Erdogan arrived in Islamabad for a two-day official visit.

According to a statement by the presidency, both leaders stressed the importance of historic bilateral relationship between Turkey and Pakistan in various areas, including politics, economy, culture, defence and people-to-people contacts.

Alvi briefed Erdogan on the worsening human rights situation in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and thanked him for his "principled stance" on Kashmir.

The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues. Alvi underscored Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace and stressed that the global community should help Afghanistan in post-conflict reconstruction.

The two leader also agreed that Pakistan and Turkey must continue to work closely to counter challenges facing the Muslim ummah, including Islamophobia, the statement added.

They affirmed that both countries would continue to extend mutual support on issues of each other’s core national interests. The leaders highlighted the importance of fully realizing the great potential of relationship between Pakistan and Turkey and transforming it into a strong and dynamic trade and economic partnership, it said.

The two leaders, along with delegations, held talks focusing on bolstering the bilateral strategic and economic cooperation, the state-run Pakistan Television reported.

The two leaders vowed to increase the strategic partnership between the two countries, according to the broadcaster.

“Alvi expressed his satisfaction over ever-increasing cooperation between the countries in different sectors” the channel reported.

Apart from the two presidents, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, and Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also attended the reception.

On Friday, Erdogan, who is visiting Pakistan for the fourth time since 2002, will address the joint session of the parliament at 11 a.m. local time (0600GMT). He is the only foreign leader who has already addressed Pakistan’s parliament thrice.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, all the four provincial governors, chief ministers, Cabinet members, chiefs of the armed forces, President of Pakistani-administered Kashmir Masood Khan and its Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, foreign diplomats, and other dignitaries were invited to attend the special session.

Later, the Turkish president will meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Prime Minister House.

Along with Khan, Erdogan will address the Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum, which will gather leading investors and businesspeople from both sides.

Erdogan and Khan will also co-chair a meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.