Pak-Turkiye ties ‘entered a new era of strategic partnership’: Pm

ISTANBUL/ISLAMABAD       -        Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said Friday that the defence collaboration between Pakistan and Türkiye for the construction of MILGEM class warships is aimed at promoting peace and warding off aggression. The prime minister stated this while addressing launching ceremony of the third of the fourth MILGEM class corvette, PNS Khaibar, for Pakistan Navy at Istanbul Naval Shipyard. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also graced the occasion as chief guest. The PNS Khaibar was launched with a prayer by both leaders for its safe functioning. Both leaders also jointly performed keel laying and steel cutting of the offshore patrol vessels for Turkish Navy. Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif highlighted the exceptional nature of Pakistan-Türkiye relations and the historic tradition of supporting each other during times of trial and tribulation. Tracing the glorious history of deep rooted bilateral fraternal ties, he called for further strengthening of joint defence production capabilities. The prime minister said that the Pakistan-Türkiye strategic partnership is a source of stability for the entire region. He greatly appreciated President Erdogan’s personally supervising the assistance effort from  Türkiye to Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Pakistan. In his address, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the two countries share a strategic relationship as they mark the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. He highlighted that the Turkish people have not forgotten the assistance from the Muslims of the subcontinent during its national struggle. The president termed defence cooperation an important pillar of the bilateral relationship and congratulated everyone involved in the successful execution of the MILGEM project. Speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly Mustafa Şentop, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, and Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank also attended the event. From Pakistan side, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Defence Production Muhammad Israr Tareen, Minister of Commerce Naveed Qamar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Fahd Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi, and Chief of the Naval Staff of Pakistan Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi attended the ceremony. Earlier, upon his arrival at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, the Prime Minister was received by Turkish President Erdogan and presented a guard of honour. It is pertinent to mention that the contract for four MILGEM Class Corvettes for Pakistan Navy was signed in 2018. Under the contract, two ships were to be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. Induction of MILGEM warships in Pakistan Navy fleet will augment its capability and contribute in its efforts towards maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region. New era oF ‘strategic partNership’ Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif arrived in Turkiye on Friday on the two-day official visit at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Being in Turkey feels like being home, overwhelmed by the warmth of our Turkish brothers & sisters. Our bilateral ties have entered a new era of strategic partnership under the leadership of President Erdogan. We are on course to unpack the full untapped potential of relationship,” the prime minister tweeted. “Leaving for 2-day visit to Türkiye at the invitation of my brother H.E. President Tayyip Erdogan. Inauguration of third MILGEM Corvette Ship represents deepening of defence cooperation b/w our two brotherly countries. High level exchanges are a defining feaure of our partnership.” At the Istanbul International Airport, the prime minister and his high-level delegation were received by the Deputy Governor of Istanbul and senior officials of the government of Turkiye. In a tweet soon after arrival, the prime minister said the bilateral ties between Pakistan and Turkiye had entered a new era of strategic partnership under the leadership of President Erdogan. “We are on the course to unpack the full untapped potential of the relationship,” he said. Shehbaz Sharif said being in Turkey he felt like being at home and added that he was overwhelmed by the warmth of the Turkish brothers and sisters. During his visit, the prime minister will interact with leaders of the Turkish business community. The president of the ECO Trade and Development Bank (ETDB) will also call on the prime minister during his stay in Istanbul. Pakistan and Turkiye enjoy fraternal ties deeply embedded in commonalities of faith, culture and history and underpinned by exceptional cordiality and mutual trust. The MILGEM project, based on joint collaboration between the two countries, represents a significant milestone in the Pakistan-Turkiye strategic partnership that continues to progress on an upward trajectory. The launching ceremony for the first Corvette for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Babur, was performed in Istanbul in August 2021 while the groundbreaking for the Second Ship, PNS Badr, was held at Karachi in May 2022. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier visited Turkiye in May-June 2022. ‘guard oF hoNour to pM shehbaz’ Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday took to twitter to share some glimpses of the guard of honour accorded to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the launching ceremony of Milgem Corvette ships. According to the minister, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was accompanied by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the launching ceremony. “PM Shehbaz accompanied by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was accorded guard of honour at the launching ceremony of Milgem Corvette ships, reflecting concrete example of Pakistan-Türkiye partnership which transcends conventional ties and diplomatic niceties,” Marriyum tweeted.

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