President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited Dr Mahathir Mohamad to attend a follow-up event to the Kuala Lumpur Summit held in 2019, in what is seen as the Turkish leader's continued support for the former prime minister's proposal for a new Muslim power bloc.
Following an hour-long meeting in Ankara on Tuesday where Mahathir and wife Dr Siti Hasmah Ali were welcomed at the presidential palace, he said Erdogan was keen to organise the Istanbul Summit to pursue what was discussed during the KL Summit, where top leaders of Malaysia and Turkey, as well as Qatar and Iran, had agreed to cooperate.
"There were also a lot of discussions on the fate of the Muslim ummah and the need to help Muslims and their nations which are facing hardship and wars.
"Mahathir also acknowledged, given Turkiye’s rapid development and progress in various fields, that it can be the model nation for other Muslim countries," said a statement on Mahathir's Facebook.
It said both leaders agreed that the Istanbul Summit would be held in either September or October this year, adding that Erdogan would like Mahathir's team to partner his Turkish side for the event.
In 2019, Erdogan alongside Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani attended the KL Summit, which has been renamed as the Perdana Dialogue, a forum that organisers say complements the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in addressing issues affecting the Muslim world.