Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will attend the inauguration ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on June 3.

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ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will attend the inauguration ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on June 3, the Foreign Office said Thursday.

The prime minister is paying the visit at the invitation of President Erdogan, who was re-elected to his office on May 28.

“The prime minister’s visit will be a reaffirmation of the deep-rooted fraternal ties between Pakistan and Turkiye,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at a weekly press briefing.

The FO spokesperson said the prime minister would convey warm felicitations on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan to President Erdogan.

The prime minister would also extend an invitation to President Erdogan to attend the 7th Meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in Islamabad, she said.

Baloch said Minister of State (MoS) for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will undertake official visits to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium from June 5-13.

“The MoS will hold meetings at the ministerial level to discuss political engagement and cooperation in development, trade and climate change,” she said.

She will also meet lawmakers and local entrepreneurs. In Belgium, she will hold meetings with Members of the European Parliament and senior officials of the European Commission.

In Sweden, the Minister of State will attend the Annual Meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) as a keynote speaker. She will present Pakistan’s perspective on issues of regional and global importance and interact with leading European decision-makers, experts, think-tanks, and influencers for debates on foreign policy priorities and challenges.

The FO spokesperson said Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was currently in Jordan to attend the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein at the invitation of the Royal family of Jordan.

From Jordan, the Foreign Minister will travel to Iraq from the 5th to 7th of June at the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Dr. Fuad Hussein. This is Foreign Minister’s first visit to Iraq.

“During the visit, the Foreign Minister will meet the Iraqi leadership. In his meeting with his counterpart, the two sides will discuss a range of issues of common interest and explore avenues of bilateral cooperation,” she said.

She said the foreign minister would formally announce the establishment of the Pilgrimage Centre in Karbala to facilitate Pakistani Zaireen (pilgrims) and perform the ground-breaking of the Embassy Complex.

“A number of agreements are also expected to be signed related to the education sector, cultural cooperation and visa facilitation,” she said.

The FO spokesperson said Pakistan was deeply concerned over India’s latest move seeking the death penalty for prominent Kashmiri leader, Yasin Malik.

Last year, Yasin Malik was awarded a life sentence in a contrived case, marked by fabricated charges and denial of fair trial. He is being held in inhumane conditions in the notorious Tihar jail despite his deteriorating health. Malik is being denied access to family members, privileged access to lawyers, and quality health treatment.

“India’s latest move is another instance of political vendetta aimed at silencing the Kashmiri leadership and intimidating the Kashmiri people,” she said.

She urged the Indian authorities to bring an end to the “farce of a trial” of Yasin Malik and provide him with quality health treatment and allowed him to live freely among his family.