Turkey is keen on expanding defence industrial cooperation with India and will offer its armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during the upcoming visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Ilnur Cevik, senior adviser to the Turkish President on Saturday.
He indicated that Turkey’s support to Pakistan on Kashmir at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was likely to continue.
“A defence cooperation agreement has to be signed. It is in the offing and a draft is being prepared. The head of defence industry of Turkey is part of the delegation,” Mr. Cevik told The Hindu on the sidelines of a discussion at the Observer Research Foundation.
Mr. Cevik said that the areas of cooperation were aviation, space and ammunition, etc. “India is strong in aviation and space … We produce armoured personal carriers. Some of the ammunition we need can be procured from India … We can introduce India to our successful drones. We have produced drones which are identifying and killing Kurdistan Workers Party terrorists. They would be discussed,” he said.
On Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism and Kashmir, he said the issue was for the two countries to discuss.
“On Kashmir, don’t pull us into the kind of problems between India and Pakistan. We are trying to build our relationship with India. You have to sit and solve the problems, but this does not mean that once we have achieved a strong relationship, we will not be an innocent bystander. It means the kind leverage on our side,” he said speaking at the discussion on India-Turkey relations. Stating that Turkey was trying to promote relations with India, while its brotherly ties with Pakistan continued, Mr. Cevik said, “We are trying to rediscover old friends.”
By: The Hindu
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