Türkiye calls for greater defense cooperation with Germany


  • World
  • Thursday, 25 Apr 2024

ANKARA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called for greater cooperation between Türkiye and Germany in the defense industry.

"I would like to completely remove the restrictions we face in the defense industry from our agenda. We hope that Türkiye and Germany will talk about joint production projects, especially in the field of defense," Erdogan said at a joint press conference with his visiting German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Since 2016, Germany has implemented a very restrictive policy for arms exports to Türkiye, especially after the Turkish military offensive in the northern Syrian region of Afrin targeting Kurdish militia groups, particularly the People's Defense Units (YPG).

The Turkish president also emphasized the need to expand bilateral trade from the current 50 billion U.S. dollars to 60 billion. "In this respect, I attach special importance to increasing mutual investments," he said.

Steinmeier, for his part, said Türkiye and Germany are two countries that are "indispensable for each other," and they do "need each other."

"In these very difficult times, we need to give importance and momentum to Turkish-German relations again," he said.

Referring to the recent developments in Gaza, Steinmeier said, "We have to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza."

The two also agreed that without a political solution for the Palestinians, there would be no peace for Israel in the medium and long term. "This political solution can only lie in the two-state solution," said Steinmeier.

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