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Erdogan to address joint session of Parliament for a record fourth time

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to address a joint session of Parliament in Islamabad — for a record fourth time — at 11am today.

The Turkish president arrived in Pakistan on Thursday for a two-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral strategic partnership and economic ties.

The joint sitting of Parliament, called by President Dr Arif Alvi, is set to begin at 11am.

The Turkish leader last visited Pakistan in 2016, during the PML-N-led government, during which he also addressed the Parliament.

PTI lawmakers had boycotted the session to protest against the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his alleged corruption.

In addition to his address before the joint sitting of Parliament today, Erdogan will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan for discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran Khan speak during a ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday. — Presidential Press Service via AP

The two will co-chair the sixth meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), which steers the bilateral relationship and are also set to speak at a meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum.

Later, there will be a signing ceremony of the memorandums of understanding and accords finalised during the meeting.

Prime Minister Imran and President Erdogan are also expected to hold a joint press conference.

Imran is expected to invite Turkey to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He had said in an interview with a Turkish newswire: “We hope to involve them in using CPEC for further connectivity, and we hope to involve Turkey in this [CPEC]”.

Erdogan arrives in Pakistan

Upon his arrival on Thursday, Erdogan was received at the Nur Khan Airbase by the premier.

In what has now become a tradition for special foreign guests, Prime Minister Imran personally drove President Erdogan and the Turkish First Lady Emine Erdoğan from the airport to Prime Minister House.

Pakistan and Turkey’s national flags are seen on poles next to a sing showing President Arif Alvi, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on February 13. — Reuters

In his first official engagement for his trip, the Turkish leader held a meeting with President Alvi, which was followed by a banquet.

During their wide-ranging talks, President Alvi extended a warm welcome to President Erdogan and expressed satisfaction over the level of multifaceted engagement between Pakistan and Turkey, according to a press release issued by the President’s Secretariat.

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