Turkey, Pakistan stress need for further defence cooperation

Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industries Ismail Demir, says Turkey and Pakistan need to show more solidarity and cooperation as both nations face common challenges, such as terrorism.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish and Pakistani flags are displayed together during the launching ceremony of a fleet tanker in Karachi, Pakistani. The tanker is a collaborative work by Pakistan Ministry of Defence and Turkish Defence Industries.

Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industries Ismail Demir, has underscored the need for enhancing further defence cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan in view of terror threats faced by both nations.

"Turkey and Pakistan need to show more solidarity and cooperation as both of them face [common] challenges such as terrorism," Demir said while speaking at the launching ceremony of a 17,000-ton fleet tanker in south-eastern Pakistani city of Karachi on Friday.

Demir acknowledged that Pakistan was among the first countries to support the Turkish people and its security forces against the defeated military coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.

"We are very grateful for their support."

About the warship fleet tanker, Demir said it was estimated the tanker would be able to serve for three or four decades.

"It is a symbol of close ties between the two countries."

"I am pleased to state that defence industry cooperation between the two countries is a significant example of our win-win approach, in cost saving technology transfer, capability sharing, joint production."

Turkey is said to be evaluating proposals from Pakistan for the purchase of its training aircraft for the Turkish Air Force.

A final decision on Pakistan’s Super Mushshak trainer aircraft is expected soon.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, Turkish Defense Industry Undersecretary Ismail Demir, Undersecretariat for Defense Industries Administrator Davut Yilmaz and military officials attend the launching ceremony, August 19, 2016. Image: Anadolu Agency.

Demir said the Super Mushshak trainer aircraft will be the next training aircraft for the Turkish Air Force.

The 17,000-ton navy warship fleet tanker, which is capable of independently operating at sea for up to three months at a time, has been built and designed in collaboration with the Turkish firm STM and Pakistan's Ministry of Defence Production.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his country wants to have an “enhanced” defence sector collaboration with Turkey, particularly in the maritime field.

Sharif said the induction of the fleet tanker would play an important role in catering to the logistic needs of Pakistan’s navy.

“This is another testimony to increasing cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. It will be remembered as a symbol of the time-tested Pakistan-Turkey friendship,” he said.