North Macedonia and Turkey are two outstandingly friendly countries that have a long and successful cooperation in defense, countries that have cooperated as partners, and will soon co-operate as NATO allies. This was confirmed by Minister of Defense Radmila Shekerinska and Turkey’s Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar, who is paying an official visit to our country today.
“A large portion of NATO’s path we passed is because Turkey opened the door for us. Strong friendship and cooperation in all the fields that have lasted for decades, not years, bind us with Turkey. These links are particularly strong in the defense sector” the Minister said. She added that nine countries have ratified the Accession Protocol thus far and voiced the expectation that the country which has given us tremendous support in this process – Turkey – will also do so.
Shekerinska said that on 5 February this year, the previously signed and ratified agreement on military-financial cooperation entered into force, which is very important considering that our country is starting the process of modernization of its army.
The Minister pointed out that the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia cooperates with the Turkish armed forces in the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Our troops are part of the Train, Advise and Assist Command (TAAC) Capital, under the command of Turkey, where the Deputy Commander is from the ranks of our Army.
“Through our cooperation in Afghanistan, the mutual understanding and trust, as well as interoperability, are most evident. The level of trust between our two armies and the trust shown by friendly Turkey are indicated by the fact that the second position in the command in Afghanistan, right after the main commander from the Turkish Army, is entrusted to us – a military officer from the ranks of our Army “, the Minister said.
Shekerinska also expressed her gratitude for the education and training of Army members at military schools in Turkey, informing that over 1,200 members of the Army have so far used this possibility.
The Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar underlined that North Macedonia is a very important country for them, with which they have excellent relations, and that the Turkish people in our country and the Macedonian people in Turkey contribute to these good relations.
Akar said that Turkey has been supporting our country in the defense sector since 1992. He underlined that all members who have completed their training in Turkey, as well as all members of our Army working together with members of the Turkish contingent in Afghanistan, are very successful in their work.
The Turkish Minister of National Defense continued his visit to North Macedonia with meetings with the Prime Minister, the President and the President of the Assembly.