ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey opened on Wednesday their two-day defence talks aimed at increasing bilateral cooperation.

The Pakistani side at the talks was led by Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Zamirul Hassan Shah whereas the Turkish delegation was headed by Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen Umit Dundar.

The talks are part of the bilateral dialogue group which was set up in 2003 and is the highest institutional mechanism steering the defence cooperation. Its mandate is to suggest policies and action plans for collaboration between the two countries in the defence sector.

The last round of talks was held in Ankara in October 2015.

Pakistan and Turkey have over the years made significant strides in their defence cooperation.


Turkish delegation holds talks with defence secretary


At the last year’s meeting of the group, Turkey had gifted 34 T-37 aircraft and spares to Pakistan. Turkey is, meanwhile, buying MFI-17 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan besides upgrading three Pakistani submarines and jointly building the fleet tanker.

Several other projects are also under way. Troops from the two countries have also held joint drills.

A joint statement on the dialogue would be issued at the end of the talks on Thursday.

Gen Dundar, meanwhile, called on Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.

Talking to the Turkish official, Mr Asif expressed Pakistan’s strong desire to strengthen its partnership with Turkey in all fields, including the defence sector.

Published in Dawn January 26th, 2017

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