Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all set to visit Pakistan on Thursday on a two-day official visit and this will hold great significance against the backdrop of regional and international developments, according to the officials.
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 a way forward, The Express Tribune said in a report.
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.
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.
It had earlier been reported that the Turkish leader would pay an official visit to Pakistan on October 23 last year to cement relations between the two countries and extend full support to Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue.
However, the visit was postponed after Turkey’s involvement with a military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria that raised tensions with Washington and other Western nations.
Islamabad has supported the Turkish offensive which has otherwise invited the wrath of the international community. Ankara began its offensive soon after US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw forces from Syria.
Last year, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had a telephonic conversation with President Erdogan to discuss matters of mutual interest.
In 2016, Erodgan visited Pakistan during the PML-N-led government, when he had addressed Parliament.
(With inputs from agency)