Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Islamabad today to meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and address Parliament.
The visit comes against the backdrop of ongoing conflict in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Islamabad’s frustrations with the conflict have been exacerbated by the omission of Kashmir from the docket of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Erdogan is aligning Turkey as a reliable ally for Pakistan, further distancing Islamabad from Riyadh. In addition to his explicit support for Pakistan’s calls for Kashmiri self-determination, the Turkish president will be accompanied by a delegation of Turkish businessmen, who will meet with their Pakistani counterparts to deepen trading ties.
Both sides have expressed openness to technology transfer, especially in Pakistan’s developing mining industry. Strong bonds with Pakistan continue Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman expansion of Turkish influence in the Muslim world and his struggle to gain the upper hand on Riyadh as the dominant Sunni power in the region. Expect Pakistan, spurned by the Saudis on the Kashmir issue, to welcome this move with open arms.
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William analyses global economic and political events for the Current Developments Team, focusing his research on Europe and the Middle East. He contributes regularly to the Daily Brief