World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey and South Africa have held bilateral talks aimed at strengthening their security and military cooperation, a Turkish deputy minister has said.
"We held bilateral talks with South Africa's Defense Minister and Deputy Minister of Defense," Turkish Deputy Minister of National Defense Hasan Kemal Yardimci told Anadolu Agency in an interview in Johannesburg.
Yardimci said his visit to South Africa aims to attend the Africa Aerospace and Defense Fair (AAD), held at Waterkloof military base in the capital Pretoria from September 17-21.
The defense fair, which was officially opened by South Africa’s Minister of Defense Nosiviwe Mapisa, is said to be the most important military trade event on the African continent with over 300 stands exhibiting products and services.
Yardimci, who was speaking to AA during the Second Turkish Film Festival in Johannesburg on Friday night, said his second reason for visiting South Africa was to hold bilateral talks with government officials and representatives of industries in the country.
"I was here to hold bilateral talks and show our support to Turkish firms which engaged with the fair; and also establish a ground for joint venture between South African and Turkish firms as South Africa is known very well with its military industry booming largely," he said.
The Turkish deputy minister said that he also held talks with senior executives of Denel, a South African armament company, one of the biggest in the military industry.
"These bilateral talks ensure that the doors are open to Turkish firms to get involved and developed," he said. "As government, we support our firms, as we have a few here, ASELSAN and OTOKAR of defense industry."
ASELSAN is a leading electronic systems company in Turkey that designs, develops and manufactures modern electronic systems for military and industrial customers, in Turkey and abroad.
The deputy minister said that the Turkish firm ASELSAN intends to open a branch in South Africa.
"We are trying to establish bilateral military deals between the two countries to give more room to the industrial business," Yardimci said.
He said that Turkey has invited the South African Deputy Minister of Defense to visit the country.
"We invited the minister of Defense of South Africa to the IDEF 2015, 12th International Defense Industry Fair which has been organized by Turkish Armed Forces, to be held in Istanbul," he said.
Turkey and South Africa enjoy good bilateral relations and previously signed a Defense Industry Cooperation Agreement during the Africa Aerospace and Defense Fair in 2012. The accord authorized the two countries to cooperate more closely on defense and security matters.Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2014, 15:08