Monday, March 30, 2020
banner
Home /  Pakistan  /  BOOSTING TIES: TURKEY’S ERDOGAN IN PAKISTAN

BOOSTING TIES: TURKEY’S ERDOGAN IN PAKISTAN

BOOSTING TIES: TURKEY’S ERDOGAN IN PAKISTAN

Islamabad (dpa) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Islamabad on Thursday, months after Pakistan''s rebuke to a plan some saw as a challenge to Saudi Arabia''s hegemony in the Muslim world. Erdogan is accompanied by ministers, government officials and heads of private companies, for a visit aimed at bolstering strategic and economic ties, Pakistan''s Foreign Ministry said. The Turkish leader plans to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi, deliver a speech at a business forum, address the country''s parliament, and speak to reporters, the ministry added. The visit comes nearly two months after Turkish, Malaysian and Pakistani leaders discussed establishing a forum of Muslim countries and an English-language television channel to counter Islamophobia in the West.   Erdogan, Khan and Malaysia''s Mahathir Mohamed met and discussed the plan in the United States and pledged to finalize it at a summit in Kuala Lumpur in December. They said the proposed forum did not seek to exclude any country, but some viewed it as a counterweight to the Saudi-dominated Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The presence of Muslim leaders critical of Saudi Arabia, including Erdogan, Mahathir Mohamad, Iran''s Hassan Rowhani and Tamim bin Hamad of Qatar, reinforced doubts about the group''s objectives. The plan ultimately failed as Khan cancelled his attendance at the summit at short notice, allegedly due to pressure by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.   Last month, Khan visited Kuala Lumpur and said he regretted not attending the summit, saying he was "misguided" by some friends, seen as a veiled reference to bin Salman. Pakistan''s Foreign Ministry did not say whether the leaders would discuss the plan during the visit, but said the two shared views on "ways to promote Islamic solidarity and counter Islamophobia," without elaborating.