Turkey, Philippines eyeing defence cooperation

Turkey and the Philippines are working on the development of bilateral ties, particularly stronger trade and defence cooperation through transfers of military equipment, Asia-Pacific’s The Diplomat magazine reported on Tuesday.

In December last year, Ankara and Manila signed a new memorandum of cooperation covering areas such as government-to-government acquisition and the development, co-production, and transfer of defence technology.

“The bilateral relations are increasing and diversifying steadily,” The Diplomat quoted Turkish Ambassador to the Philippines Artemiz Sümer as saying in a speech during the Victory Day of Turkey on August 30. “In this frame, we believe we can further develop our cooperation in the field of defence.”

In July, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met his Filipino counterpart Teodoro Locsin Jr. on the sidelines of the 52nd foreign ministers’ meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey aimed to develop stronger trade and increase defence cooperation with the Philippines.

The trade volume between Turkey and the Philippines stood at $219 million in 2015, the latest year reported on the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.