Defense Alliance Discussed
The 31st Annual conference on US-Turkish relations brought together the top military defense leaders of both countries.
Ismet Yilmaz, Turkiye's Minister of National Defense was upbeat about the meeting, "Turkish-American relations have a long story. Always aiming to reach a common goal of peace and freedom,all over the world. We are bound a multiplicity of relationships coming from common history, mutual respect and shared vision."
US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta chimed in with the US position on Turkiye "A relationship that I believe has been more critical to the long -term stability of the world and both of our nations."
Especially with instability in the region, and the great unrest in neighboring Syria.
"The international community now, must take necessary action to stop violence. It's our collective responsibility to act quickly. From now on, giving any additional time to Assad, will cause the death of more innocent civilians," explains Yilmaz.
"There is no silver bullet. But we will continue to work with Turkiye and the international community, to bring pressure on Assad, to step down. To bring an orderly transition in Damascus, and to help put an ..an end to the Syrian people's suffering," added Panetta.
Turkey and the US have long been fighting against terror, together, in Afghanistan. But Secretary Panetta, made it clear, America stands behind Turkiye at home, too.
"So long as the PKK threatens Turkiye, and threatens its people, we will continue to provide Turkiye with capabilities to counter that threat," assured Panetta.
It's that cooperation on defense, that both leaders want to continue, into the future.
"The defense industrialization will enhance the already existing, mutually- beneficial work in trade and economy. Within this framework, it is a strong expression of political solidarity between the nations," Yilmaz exclaimed.
"The US is committed to bolstering two way trade between the nations. To make sure Turkiye has the cutting edge military capabilities that it needs,” assured Panetta.
And that's important, as the US transitions into a new defense strategy for the 21st century.
Panetta warned, “This is not a period where the US walks around the world, to establish more permanent bases and exercise our power. We have to build the capabilities of other nations to secure themselves.”
The meet ended with a consensus on defense ties.
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