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Pakistan's Prime Minister will depart for 2-day visit to Turkiye on Friday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meet in Istanbul, Turkiye. [TUR Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meet in Istanbul, Turkiye. [TUR Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar - Anadolu Agency]

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will begin a two-day official visit to Turkiye on Friday at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said an official statement, Anadolu reports.

Sharif and President Erdogan will jointly inaugurate the third of four MILGEM corvette ships manufactured by Turkiye for the Pakistan Navy at the Istanbul Shipyard, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's office in Islamabad.

The ship is named PNS Khyber.

Sharif is visiting Turkiye for the second time this year, having previously visited in May-June.

The two leaders, the statement added, will also hold "wide-ranging discussions encompassing bilateral relations, the regional situation and other issues of common interest."

READ: Turkiye: Erdogan determined to be top in defence industries

Sharif will also 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 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 statement said.

"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," it added.

The first corvette for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Babur, was launched in Istanbul in August of last year, while the groundbreaking for the second ship, PNS Badr, took place in Karachi in May of this year.

In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy inked a contract with ASFAT, a Turkish state-owned defense contractor, to acquire four MILGEM-class ships.

According to the agreement, two corvettes will be built in Turkiye, and the next two will be built in Pakistan, which also involves technology transfer.

READ: China, Saudi Arabia assure Pakistan of $13 billion in funding amid ongoing crises

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