RAWALPINDI: Turkish National Defence Minister Fikri Isik praised on Friday the Pakistan Army’s accomplishments in operation Zarb-i-Azb and contribution towards regional peace and stability
He called on Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters and discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional security and defence collaboration, according to ISPR.
During a meeting between Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif and Mr Isik, both sides shared a strong resolve to enhance defence cooperation.
Khawaja Asif conveyed appreciation of democratic initiatives taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He also conveyed condolences and sympathies on recent suicide attacks in Istanbul and Ankara.
The ministers discussed the relations between Pakistan and Turkey and reiterated their strong desire to deepen, broaden and strengthen their partnership in the defence sector.
Turkey’s role as an important part of a trilateral process on Afghanistan was also discussed.
Pakistan reiterated its desire for peaceful and stable Afghanistan through an Afghan-owned and -led peace process.
Both sides expressed satisfaction over successful holding of the 11th round of a High-Level Military Dialogue Group meetings in Ankara in October last year.
Its next session is scheduled to be held in Pakistan in October.
The construction of the Pakistan Navy Tanker Fleet at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works and Turkish Navy’s participation in various exercises were also discussed.
The Turkish side said the country would participate in Ideas-2016.
According to ISPR, Mr Isik, who was accompanied by a delegation, also called on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee’s Chairman Gen Rashad Mahmood and discussed the geostrategic situation and security challenges. The visiting leader lauded the professionalism of Pakistan’s armed forces and sacrifices rendered by the country in the fight against terrorism.
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2016
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