Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan in Pakistan with critical timing
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
PM Erdoğan is expected to give messages of unity in his adress to the Parliament. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan traveled to Pakistan yesterday on a three-day formal visit at a critical time when NATO is negotiating a deal with Pakistan over the re-opening of the alliance’s supply routes to Afghanistan.
Erdoğan is expected to address a joint session of Parliament today, becoming the seventh world leader to address Pakistan’s Parliament. Accompanied by seven ministers, Erdoğan’s visit to Islamabad will initiate a new period in Turkish-Pakistani relations. Erdoğan will launch a high-level cooperation process between Turkey and Pakistan in order to raise trade volume to $2 billion.
Erdoğan will be the first world leader ever to address a joint sitting of Pakistan’s Parliament twice. He had previously addressed the Parliament in October 2009 and was then the fourth world leader to speak before Parliament, according to Pakistan’s Geo Tv website. During his speech, Erdoğan is expected to give messages of unity and highlight friendly relations and brotherhood.
His visit came at a critical time when Pakistan’s president is attending the NATO summit in Chicago and the alliance is discussing the re-opening of NATO’s supply routes. NATO hopes Asif Ali Zardari will agree to reopen key NATO supply routes into Afghanistan that were closed down in November after U.S. air strikes killed 26 Pakistani troops.
On May 22, Erdoğan will be welcomed by full military honors at the Pakistani Prime Ministry and meet members of the Pakistani government. Turkey and Pakistan are expected to sign a preferential trade agreement and an agreement to cut down tax duties, as well as an agreement to facilitate the travel of trucks, in the meeting. Before departing for Pakistan, Erdoğan said he will travel to Kazakhstan to attend the Astana Economic Forum after his visit in Islamabad.