President Alvi, Erdogan attend inauguration of Istanbul airport


ISTANBUL: President Arif Alvi Monday attended the inauguration ceremony of Grand International Airport in Istanbul along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

President Arif Alvi is in Turkey on three-day official visit on the invitation of Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


President Alvi said deep and brotherly relations among the people of Pakistan and Turkey were historical.

The two countries had an exemplary relationship since the Khilafat Movement, the president, in an interview with correspondents of Turkish news channel TRT, Anadolu news agency and Daily Sabah.

President Alvi said Pakistan had suffered colossal losses in the war against terrorism. More than 70,000 Pakistanis lost their lives while the economy suffered billions of dollar losses.

He said both Pakistan and Turkey had made a lot of efforts for world peace and stability. They had rendered numerous sacrifices to eradicate terrorism and the world must acknowledge their tireless efforts in that regard.

President Alvi said the two countries had a lot of opportunities to cooperate in various fields. They would have to take extra steps to further cooperate in many fields, including basic infrastructure, he added.

To a question, he said the government was working on a gigantic housing project of five million houses for the lower income segment of the society and it wanted to get benefit from Turkey’s experience in that regard.

To another question, the president said Turkey was an important country of the Muslim world.

About the country’s foreign policy, he said Pakistan wanted better relations with all the countries. Pakistan desired peace in war-torn Afghanistan as it would benefit it, he added.

Meanwhile, President Alvi and the First Lady also participated at the inaugural ceremony of Turkey’s giant new Istanbul Airport. The president and his wife on the occasion also held informal talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the First Lady.

The Turkish president has championed the $7.2 billion project in his bid to make Istanbul a global travel hub linking Europe, Asia and Africa and turn flag carrier Turkish Airlines into an aviation giant.

The ceremony was also attended by 50 heads of state on the invitation of the Turkish government.