FYRMacedonia, Turkey ink agreement on military-financial cooperation December 27, 2010Posted by Yilan in Human rights abuses.
Tags: Macedonia, Turkey
Macedonia and Turkey signed Friday an agreement on military-financial cooperation. It envisages Turkey to donate military aid to Macedonia at its own choice in amount of one million US dollars in 2011.
In addition to the agreement, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul – who is paying an official two-day visit to Macedonia together with a delegation of the Turkish Ministry for National Defense – is due to hand over a $253,000 donation to the Macedonian Army (ARM).
After signing the agreement, Gonul said that even though Macedonia and Turkey didn’t share a joint border, the Turkish people were perceiving Macedonia as their closest neighbour.
“Turkey is not only the first country that recognised Macedonia and sent an ambassador, but it also recognised the country together with its millennium-long historical past, not with some abbreviation,” the Minister said.
He added that Macedonia since his first visit back in 2004 had significantly advanced in the field of defense and democracy.
“Today’s signing of the agreement is a step forward in establishing a higher cooperation on the existing excellent cooperation between the countries. Bilateral cooperation especially in the field of defense industry will be significantly reinforced,” Gonul stated.
The Turkish Minister said that his country was prepared to share its experiences with Macedonia in terms of defense, military standards and military industry.
Macedonian Minister of Defense Zoran Konjanovski said that military cooperation with Turkey had been established in 1993.
Turkey, he said, is one of the most important partners assisting in strengthening the capacities of ARM. It has donated equipment worth over 16 million dollars for the Macedonian army. In addition to this, more than 600 ARM officers and non-commissioned officers have attended trainings and courses in Turkey.
“Macedonia’s goal is to join NATO as soon as possible. To accomplish that goal we need friends and Turkey is one of our strongest partners supporting the country on its road to the Alliance,” stressed Konjanovski