LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the Pak-Turkey relations have entered into a bright era and its credit goes to the PML-N leaders who have transformed sentiments of the ancient brotherhood of both nations into an economic cooperation.

He was addressing a public gathering along with Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan in Van city of Turkey on Saturday. A large number of Turkish people, who were carrying and waving flags of Pakistan and Turkey, attended the gathering.

The Turkish PM in his speech paid rich tribute to the Punjab chief minister for promoting relations between the two countries. The people raised slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and Shahbaz Sharif Zindabad.

Shahbaz said that he has come to Turkey with the agenda of enhancing cooperation for training facilities between Punjab and Turkey. He said that Turkey has assured provision of training facilities for the people of Punjab in garments, housing, construction, health and education sectors. He said that love and affection expressed for him by the people of Turkey at the airport and public meeting is a clear proof of Pak-Turk friendship. The CM said that Turkey has become 16th economic power of the world today, and its example is worth emulating not only for the Islamic world but other countries as well. He hoped, “We’ll also achieve the place among the world’s nations by following the footprints of Turkey.” He said that Pakistan and Turkey would join hands in the journey to development.

Separately, an important meeting was also held between CM Shahbaz Sharif and Turkish PM Rajab Tayyip Erdogan. During the meeting, both the leaders agreed to promote bilateral relations with regard to Pak-Turk ties, cooperation in energy and education sectors and eradication of terrorism.

Welcoming the CM and his entourage, Erdogan said that the visit would further enhance cooperation in various sectors and promote relations between both countries. He said that Punjab has played an important role in opening new avenues of economic cooperation and further strengthening ties between Pakistan and Turkey.

Erdogan assured that Turkey will continue its cooperation with Pakistan, particularly Punjab, in energy, anti-terrorism, vocational education and other sectors. He said it is a matter of pride for Turkey that it is helping brotherly Islamic country of Pakistan. He said that Shahbaz Sharif has played a key role in transforming the friendship between Pakistan and Turkey into useful economic contacts.

Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz said the people of Pakistan and Turkey are bound in the everlasting relations of love, affection and brotherhood. He said that Turkish investors have made investment of billions of dollars in various sectors, particularly transport, solid waste management and security in Punjab during the last five years. He said that Turkey has always helped Pakistani people generously in every hour of trial.

Shahbaz Sharif said that Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and senior leadership of the ruling party have opened new chapters of Pak-Turk friendship, and metro bus project is its shining example. He welcomed the interest expressed by Turkey and its leadership for extending cooperation in various sectors in Pakistan. He said the Punjab government is providing very conducive atmosphere to foreign investors and incentives are being provided to them on priority basis.

The CM left for Turkey, Germany and Britain on a 4-day visit on Saturday. Before his departure, the CM expressed hope that his visit would open up new avenues of cooperation and friendship with the Turkish government. He said he was looking forward to enhanced and mutual cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in the areas of energy, education and security.

During his visit to Germany, the CM will sign agreements on solar energy and projects of alternative sources of electricity. In the UK, Shahbaz will meet the British authorities for their cooperation in the field of education, trade and business.

It may be mentioned that the CM has recently returned from China where he held very important meetings with the Chinese high authorities for assistance in the power sector of the country.