Pakistan eyes ‘enhanced’ defense ties with Turkey
KARACHI – Anadolu Agency
AA photoPakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Aug. 19 that his country wanted “enhanced” defense sector collaboration with Turkey, particularly in the maritime field.
Speaking during the launch of Pakistan’s largest warship fleet tanker – built in collaboration with Turkish firm Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik (STM) – in the port city of Karachi, Sharif said the induction of the fleet would play an important role in catering to the logistic needs of Pakistan’s navy.
The design of 17,000-ton vessel was prepared by Turkey and built in the Karachi Shipyard.
“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,” Sharif said.
“The fleet tanker is a true testament to our efforts toward indigenization and self-reliance, and enhanced collaboration with our brothers in Turkey,” he added.
He said Pakistan would continue to collaborate with the Turkish government and companies to build more ships.
“This initiative will certainly open more opportunities for further cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defense sector products. We hope there will be more cooperation with the Turkish government and companies in this field,” he said.
Sharif observed that Islamabad and Ankara had stood alongside each other in testing times.
“Joint ventures like the construction of this fleet tanker will further strengthen our mutual bonds characterized by faith, common heritage, shared civilization and commonality of interests,” he said.
Pakistan was among the first countries to express its support with the Turkish people and security forces during the failed July 15 military coup.
The country’s upper house, the Senate, and lower house, the National Assembly, also passed separate resolutions condemning the attempted coup, throwing their weight behind Turkey’s democratic government.