PM Imran Khan to invite Turkey to join CPEC projects

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 02 (DNA): Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he will be inviting Turkey to join the multi-billion dollar CPEC projects. He said that he hopes to strengthen ties with Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Islamabad mid-February, which he hopes will build on the brotherly relationship between Islamabad and Ankara.

“We are enhancing our trade ties,” the premier said, adding that Pakistan is grateful for the way Turkey stood with the people of Kashmir. “The statement given by President Erdogan on what is happening to the people of Kashmir by a very fascist, racist BJP government was encouraging. So, our relationship every way is getting stronger,” he said.

He also said that when President Erdogan visits Islamabad in February he will be bringing various business houses and investors with him. “We will have Pakistani businesses and investors meeting their Turkish counterparts. The idea is that we enhance our trading relationship,” he explained, adding that there are various areas where Turkey can help Pakistan, such as the mining sector.

Pakistan is a country full of minerals but we have not excavated or explored these minerals, he said. But this isn’t the only region PM Khan wants to discuss when President Erdogan visits. “We want technology transfer from Turkey in various areas. So, it will be quite a comprehensive visit. All sorts of ways of economic ties will be discussed, apart from, of course, our strategic and diplomatic ties,” he said.

Discussing the perception that Pakistan has ensnared itself in China’s ‘debt trap’, he said the debt from China was a very small part of the country’s total debt portfolio. He called the debt trap claim unfounded. “We hope that when the Turkish delegation comes in a couple of weeks, we hope to involve them in using CPEC for further connectivity, and we hope to involve Turkey in this,” he said. DNA