In today’s modern world, bilateral visits and interactions always contribute to cementing of relations between two countries. At present, Pakistan is passing through turbulent times amidst its sagging economy as well as fast-emerging regional and global developments. In this critical time, we have only a few countries that are standing firmly with us with Turkey being prominent among them. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent official visit to Turkey comes as the latest example of that reality as the two sides had ‘heart-to-heart’ talks on a range of issues of mutual, regional and international importance. Despite being somewhat belated Imran Khan’s Ankara visit was commendable as the leaders of the two countries reaffirmed a strong friendship between their brotherly nations. They once again expressed their resolve to continue extending strong mutual support to each other on all issues of core national interest.
n the invitation of President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Imran Khan paid an official visit to Republic of Turkey on 3-4 January 2019. PM Khan was accompanied by a high-level delegation on the occasion. President Erdoğan and PM Khan held a tête-à-tête meeting that was followed by delegation level talks.
While talking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said it was high time both Pakistan and Turkey took their bilateral trade to a high level, citing Pakistan’s ideal geo-strategic location and its huge potential for investment in infrastructure and tourism. The premier said that Pakistan wanted to strengthen its bond with Turkey, not just in trade ties but also in “foreign relations, in our various attitudes to terrorism”.
Pakistan and Turkey have enjoyed a unique relationship which dates back to the times of the great leaders Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The relationship between the two brotherly nations has always excelled in the domains of economic, cultural and historical ties. It is evident that the recent visit of the Pakistani premier will enhance these relations further in due course.
While talking at the dinner co-organized by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and Pakistan’s Embassy in Ankara, PM Khan said that it was time to boost the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan. “I have brought my team with me because now is the time to enhance the trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey,” he said. Pointing that bilateral trade volume currently falls short for a number of reasons, including the distance between the countries, PM Khan hoped that the issue would be solved in the coming years, because “a huge development is taking place in Pakistan, namely the Chinese Belt and Road (One Belt, One Road) initiative.”
Noting Pakistan’s huge potential in many areas, he added the country boasts “huge mineral reserves” such as natural gas, copper and cobalt but that these areas have been neglected.
Over the last 20 years, trade in other areas has increased gradually and with the announcement of increased reciprocal business activity, the countries will reap the rewards of their hard work and struggle.
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