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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office said on Thursday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will embark on a two-day official visit to Türkiye today (Friday) to jointly inaugurate the third of the four MILGEM Corvette Ships for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Khaibar with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, besides holding talks on issues of mutual interest.

Speaking at her weekly media briefing Foreign Office spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahara Baloch said that at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will pay a two-day official visit to Türkiye, from 25-26 November 2022.

Alongside President Erdogan, she added that the Prime Minister will jointly inaugurate the third of the four MILGEM Corvette Ships for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Khaibar, at the Istanbul Shipyard. She said that the two leaders will also hold wide-ranging discussions encompassing bilateral relations, the regional situation and other issues of common interest. She added that the Prime Minister will interact with leaders of the Turkish business community, adding that the President of the ECO Trade and Development Bank (ETDB) will also call on the Prime Minister during his stay in Istanbul.

“Pakistan and Türkiye enjoy fraternal ties deeply embedded in commonalities of faith, culture and history and underpinned by exceptional cordiality and mutual trust,” she said, adding that the MILGEM project, based on joint collaboration between the two countries, represents a significant milestone in the Pakistan-Türkiye strategic partnership that continues to progress on an upward trajectory.

PM to leave for Turkiye on 25th

The launching ceremony for the first Corvette for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Babur, was performed in Istanbul in August 2021 while the groundbreaking for the Second Ship, PNS Badr, was held at Karachi in May 2022.

“Frequent leadership level exchanges are a defining feature of the eternal bonds of Pakistan-Türkiye friendship,” she said. The Prime Minister earlier visited Türkiye in May-June 2022.

Referring to the recent decisions made by the COP27 held in Sharm-El-Sheikh (Egypt), she welcomed the outcomes of the debate held at the conference.

“We are encouraged with the debate at the Conference and its outcomes. We are particularly gratified with the decision to establish a fund to address “loss and damage” caused by climate-induced disasters to effectively address the urgent needs of developing countries. We see the consensus at COP27 as a momentous achievement, especially for the Group of 77 and China,” she added.

She said that developing countries have been demanding such a fund for the past 30 years. “In the history of Climate Change negotiations, for the first time the principle for financing for loss and damage has been secured. So, in that context, this is historic,” she added.

She said that the dedicated “Fund for Loss and Damage” will address losses and damages in developing countries, such as Pakistan, which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impact of Climate Change. “We look forward to early operationalization of the Fund and hope it would fill a major gap in climate finance infrastructure,” she added.

“We congratulate the developing countries for their exemplary solidarity and steadfastness in pushing the case for a Fund for Loss and Damage. We also appreciate the understanding and cooperation of the developed countries in recognizing the urgency to act on loss and damage,” she added.

The spokesperson also reiterated Pakistan’s strong rejection of India’s unwarranted remarks made against Pakistan at the Security Council briefing on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, India continues to abuse its non-permanent membership of UN Security Council and the Chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) to target Pakistan through false narratives and malicious propaganda,” she said.

She said that India’s irresponsible behaviour at the Security Council during its non-permanent membership confirms that it does not have the competence or the wisdom to qualify as a permanent member of the Security Council. On the situation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, she said we have not seen any improvement in the situation in IIOJK as it remains under military siege and Indian oppression there continues unabated.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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