Turkish, US defense chiefs discuss NATO, regional security issues

Turkish, US defense chiefs discuss NATO, regional security issues
# 06 April 2023 21:58 (UTC +04:00)

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin on Thursday spoke over the phone and discussed NATO and the Black Sea grain deal, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

Akar and Austin also discussed Finland’s accession to NATO, bilateral and regional defense and security matters, according to a Turkish National Defense Ministry statement.

They highlighted the importance of the extension of the Black Sea grain initiative.

“The importance of the rapid and positive conclusion of our country's F-16 procurement and modernization project was emphasized,” the statement said.

Akar also thanked Austin for the support and solidarity shown by the US following the massive earthquakes that shook Türkiye's southern regions in February.

The Turkish defense minister also noted that Ankara supports “NATO's Open Door Policy, Finland's membership shows this once again and it is hoped that Sweden will fulfill its commitments as soon as possible.”

For his part, Austin expressed the US' readiness to provide all kinds of support to Türkiye “to heal the wounds of the earthquake,” the statement said.

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