LAHORE - A high-level Pakistan delegation headed by Secretary Defence Lt Gen (r) Asid Yasin is currently in Turkey to explore avenues of cooperation in defence production.

Information received from Pakistan Embassy in Ankara revealed that inaugural session of Turkey-Pakistan 9th High Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG) was held on Tuesday. Asif Yasin led the Pakistan delegation while Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff GenYa?ar Güler led the Turkish delegation.

Different working groups separately discussed matters pertaining to defence production, military training and cooperation, electronic warfare, etc. while the concluding meeting will take place today.

Pakistan’s defence production industry is significantly treading on the path of self-reliance and has now been able to produce defence equipment indigenously. Similar is the case with Turkey, which, due to its NATO membership and proximity with Europe has a developed defence sector.

Pakistan delegation will also visit Turkish defence industries including Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Turkish Military Software Corporation (HAVELSAN), and Military Electronic Industries of Turkey (ASELSAN) and discuss prospects of joint ventures.

Both sides exchanged views on promoting cooperation in defence industry sector. They also discussed matters of regional security and importance of an upgraded and hi-tech system of defence and defence production according to contemporary needs.

Both Turkey and Pakistan agreed to work closer for promotion of sustainable peace and lasting stability in Afghanistan. Both sides reviewed progress in bilateral defence cooperation and agreed to further enhance the scope of cooperation. They vowed to work towards exploring opportunities for joint ventures in future.

In his opening remarks, Asif Yasin stated that both Pakistan and Turkey enjoy close relations in all fields. They have supported each other on various issues including Kashmir and Cyprus. He referred to similarity of geo-strategic situation of Pakistan and Turkey. He said the cooperation between Pakistan and Turkish armed forces is long standing and entails exchanges, participation in exercises and training programmes, mutually beneficial to both sides.