ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday arrived in the Turkish capital of Ankara to attend the inauguration of Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was reelected as his country’s president just a few days ago.
A third term gives Erdogan an even stronger hand domestically and internationally, and the election results will have implications far beyond Ankara. Türkiye stands at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and it plays a key role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Erdogan, who led Türkiye as prime minister or president for 20 years, prevailed in a runoff race last weekend despite the country’s ongoing economic crisis and his government’s criticized response to a February earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people.
“Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif arrives in Ankara on his two-day official visit to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Sharif’s office said in a statement on Saturday.
“High officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Pakistan’s Mission in Türkiye received the Prime Minister upon his arrival at Esenboga Airport, Ankara.”
Sharif also held a meeting with the chairman of Limak Holding A.S., a Turkish conglomerate with major interests in construction, energy, cement, and tourism, the PM Office added. During the meeting, they discussed the investment possibility in Pakistan’s economy.
The premier also met a delegation of the Anadolu Group in Ankara.
“The prime minister appreciated Anadolu Group’s investment in Pakistan and the employment provision in the country due to it,” the official statement said, adding that Sharif had invited the Anadolu Group to further increase its spending in Pakistan.
Before leaving for Ankara, Sharif wrote in a Twitter post on Friday he would convey “the warmest greetings to President Erdogan on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan on his re-election.”
“The fraternal ties between Pakistan and Türkiye are set to deepen further in line with our shared resolve and common destiny. The upcoming 7th Meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Islamabad will provide the right avenue to take the momentum of our strategic partnership forward,” he said.
“We have yet to unlock the potential of our multifaceted relationship and efforts are being made in that direction.”
Known as “reis,” or “the chief,” among his fans, the 69-year-old Erdogan is already the longest-serving leader in the Turkish republic’s history. His reelection to a five-year term that runs until 2028 extends his rule into a third decade, and he could possibly serve longer with the help of a friendly parliament.
Pakistan and Türkiye share strong bilateral religious, cultural, trade, and defense relations.