Musharraf’s Turkey visit to boost defence ties

The spokesman said the visit was part of the ongoing bilateral consultations between the two countries. "During the visit to Turkey, the president will discuss with Turkish leadership ways and means to enhance bilateral relations, particularly in the economic sphere," he said.

President Musharraf will hold official talks with President Ahmet Necdet and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. These talks would cover recent developments in Pakistan-India relations, including the Kashmir dispute, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Cyprus, the foreign office spokesman said.

President Musharraf is also slated to address a special session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Dawn learnt that President Musharraf’s visit will also jump start tangible defence cooperation between the two countries, translating into joint production of major military equipment.

Significantly, President Musharraf’s visit to Turkey follows exchange of high-level visits between defence officials of the two countries including visits by the two defence ministers.

An Islamabad-based Turkish diplomat said President Musharraf’s visit will have a "very positive" bearing on enhancing bilateral cooperation. President Musharraf will be accompanied by the first lady, Begum Sehba Musharraf, ministers for finance and commerce, the governor of State Bank, members of the National Assembly, the foreign secretary and other officials.

DAVOS: President Musharraf will proceed to Davos, Switzerland, to participate in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on Jan 22-24. He will be one of the lead panelists and speaker at the Plenary Session of the "Council of Hundred Leaders," a multi-stakeholder community dedicated to strengthening understanding between the West and the Muslim world under the Forum’s "West-Islamic World Dialogue" initiative.

The president will deliver a key-note address on investment opportunities in Pakistan and prospects for regional cooperation. During his stay in Davos, the President will hold meetings with Swiss President Joseph Deiss, Chairman of the World Economic Forum Prof Klaus Schwab, UN Secretary Gen Kofi Annan, NATO’s Secretary-General Japa de Hoop Scheffer, and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

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