Islamabad: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will address Pakistan’s parliament on Feb. 14 during his two-day visit to Islamabad, a Pakistani official announced on Thursday.
Asad Qaisar, the speaker of the National Assembly — the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament — announced that Erdogan would address the joint sitting of the parliament for the record fourth time.
Presiding the National Assembly session, Qaisar said he would consult with the parliamentary leaders of all the political parties with respect to Erdogan’s visit, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Erdogan is expected to arrive in Islamabad on Feb. 13 for a two-day visit.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui confirmed Erdogan’s visit next week, however Turkey is yet to officially confirm it.
At a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, she said: “The visit is taking place as per the schedule agreed by both sides. They are working very hard to finalize the substantive program of this visit.”
She reiterated that Pakistan and Turkey have very warm, brotherly and cordial relations.
“We support each other on core issues. Pakistan looks forward to the visit of the Turkish president. All details of the visit will be shared with you in due course,” Farooqui added.
Erdogan paid his last visit to Pakistan in November 2016 — his first visit to the South Asian nuclear state since assuming the presidency in August 2014. Previously, he visited Pakistan twice as the prime minister of Turkey.
He is the only head of state who addressed Pakistan’s parliament thrice.
Ankara and Islamabad have boosted bilateral defense and security cooperation in recent years. In October 2018, Pakistan Navy commissioned a 17,000-ton fleet tanker built in collaboration with a Turkish defense company in the southern port city of Karachi.
It was the largest warship ever constructed in the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works in collaboration with Turkish defense contractor STM, according to Pakistan Navy.
In July 2018, Ankara won a multibillion-dollar tender to supply four corvettes to Pakistan Navy — a deal dubbed as the biggest export for Turkey’s defense industry in history by then-Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli.
In 2016, Turkey gifted 34 T-37 aircraft and spares to Pakistan. Ankara is, meanwhile, buying MFI-17 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan, besides upgrading three Pakistani submarines and jointly building a fleet tanker.