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Turkish defense minister meets Pakistani counterpart

Turkish defense minister meets Pakistani counterpart
Ministers discuss burgeoning defense ties between Ankara, Islamabad

By Yusuf Hatip and Aamir Latif

ISLAMABAD (AA) - Newly-appointed Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif met Friday in Islamabad to discuss bilateral defense cooperation.

"One of the most important issues between [the two countries] is a deal for T129 attack helicopters," Isik said at a joint press conference held after the meeting.

The deal for the sale of the T129s -- a multi-role attack helicopter co-developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries -- will "further enhance our bilateral cooperation in the defense industry," Isik asserted.

The Turkish defense minister added that plans to purchase Pakistani-made Super Mushshak basic trainer aircraft were still in the pipeline.

He went on to note that the Pakistani authorities, for their part, had requested the purchase of four Turkish Ada-class corvettes (which would be built in Pakistan).

Isik also said that Turkey and Pakistan had begun discussing details of a cooperation deal by which Turkey would help modernize the Pakistani navy’s fleet of three Agosta-class submarines.

Isik also met with Pakistani army chief General Raheel Sharif on Friday at Pakistani army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

At the meeting, the two men discussed regional security and defense collaboration, according to an army statement issued after the meeting.

Isik, for his part, voiced his appreciation for the Pakistani armed forces’ contributions to the fight against terrorism and promotion of regional peace and security.

*Anadolu Agency correspondent Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to the story from Ankara

source: News Feed
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