PM arrives in Turkey for four-day official visit


ISTANBUL: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has arrived here Tuesday (July 5) for a four-day official visit to Turkey.

The special flight carrying Ismail Sabri and his delegation touched down at the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) at 8.40am local time (1.40pm Malaysian time).

On hand to welcome the premier at the airport, which is owned and managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, were Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Malaysian Ambassador to Turkey, Sazali Mustafa Kamal.

Also present were the Governor of Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Halil Avsar, MAHB chairman Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and government officials from both countries.

The official welcoming ceremony for the visit will be held in Ankara on Thursday (July 7).

The visit, at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, began with the prime minister touring the ISGIA upon his arrival.

The airport, one of two international airports serving Istanbul, is in the Asian part of the bi-continental Istanbul and ranked as Europe’s sixth busiest airport and second fastest-recovering airport in Europe last year.

After visiting ISGIA, the Prime Minister will host a luncheon for Keluarga Malaysia residing in the country, before holding meetings with top Turkish corporations including Turkish Wealth Fund and Oyak.

During the meetings, Ismail Sabri is expected to explore bilateral commodity trading opportunities, with an emphasis on food security as well as strengthening cooperation through the sharing of technology.

On Thursday, Ismail Sabri is scheduled to have a four-eyed meeting with Erdogan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, followed by a Malaysia-Turkey delegation meeting.

He is accompanied by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad, Chief of Malaysian Air Force General Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan, as well as Chief of Army General Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain.

During his stay in the Turkish capital, the premier is scheduled to visit the country’s two major players in defence and aerospace, MKE Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) respectively.

Turkey is Malaysia’s third-biggest trading partner in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with total trade between the two countries recorded at RM16.97bil last year, and projects implemented valued at RM444.59mil.

Last year, Malaysia exported RM4.68bil worth of palm oil and palm oil products to support the burgeoning demand, particularly in the Turkish food industry, as well as the home and personal care industry. – Bernama

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