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Türkiye and UK Signed a Statement of Intent on Defence Co-Operation

Blueprint signed for a closer defence relationship between the two nations. Both sides agreed on the need to maintain support for Ukraine.

Date: November 23, 2023 Update: April 21, 2024

Two NATO Allies, the UK and Türkiye, have today agreed to work more closely together to help bring greater stability, security and prosperity to both nations. Defence Secretary, Grant SHAPPS, today signed a Statement of Intent on defence co-operation, with his Turkish counterpart, Minister of National Defense, Yaşar GÜLER. This will provide the framework for closer working to deliver additional activities that will benefit the security and prosperity of both countries and, in so doing, enhancing national, regional and international security. Following the signing, activity will see closer collaboration between both countries’ defence industries, the identification of possible joint training exercises in the Mediterranean, and the exploration of security support around North Africa and the Middle East.

As well as discussing the need for de-escalation in the Middle East, the Defence Secretary thanked his counterpart for utilising Türkiye’s influence as the gatekeeper to the Black Sea to enable the export of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to nations who need it most.There was strong agreement on the need to keep focused on our collective support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s continuing aggression.

Defence Secretary, Grant SHAPPS said: “I was very pleased to meet my counterpart, Minister GÜLER, and to jointly agree to deepen the UK-Turkish defence relationship. Türkiye stands at the crossroads of three continents and, at a time of such global instability, their influence cannot be underestimated. The agreement we’ve signed will see our relationship go from strength-to-strength and enhance our nations’ defence and security co-operation... "

In his first face-to-face meeting with two counterparts,  UK Defence Secretary SHAPPS welcome the progress made on Sweden’s accession to NATO and hoped to see Turkish ratification through parliament as soon as possible.

Following the G2G meeting , UK Minister of Defence Grant SHAPPS made a statement the media about two countries long-standing relationships and planning co-operations both in military & industry side.

"As you're marking 100 years of your great republic, I am hugely grateful for your hospitality today, as we mark this historic relationship, which actually stretches back much further than 100 years, as we've just seen. And over 440 years ago, William Harborne from the Embassy of Queen Elizabeth the 1st came here from London, as his gift, he brought a very elaborate mechanical clock as a gift. And in many ways, it was a strange present with the President, because at the time people were told the time by being called to prayer. In fact, was clock, represents something perhaps about our relationship. First of all, it survives the test of time, our relationship is flourishing all these years later. But also the clock represents the predictability of our relationship, and as we've discussed today, we're friends in good times and bad times, for better or for worse. And we all know and understand that the world is perhaps a lot less stable now, than it has been for a number of years, particularly with the conflicts in both Europe and the Middle East. And on the European conflicts, I want to pay special tribute to the work that your Government did with the grain initiative which is massively responsible, saving very many lives in the last year, I’m sorry that the Black Sea grain initiatives broke down, but we know that you're now helping in other ways, and we've been able to discuss this morning, how your initiative on de-mining and cooperation through a maritime coalition can help to feed the world and also help Ukraine in this battle.

This morning we've discussed many things, some of them aren't easy, including, for example, the 75th NATO. That the Alliance, coming up to the 75th anniversary, and expanding because of Putin’s war, and we appreciate what you're doing, with regard to Swedish membership, we know it's not always easy, but we know that the greater good will be served by an expanded NATO. But we've also discussed our many areas of cooperation in particular on things like TFX capability, and on fighting Typhoon, and the way in which our relationships become a two way imitative, it's very important to the United Kingdom, that corporation runs in both directions. We're working with the directly on piracy off the Somalian coast, your work in Somalia, and I mentioned that I visited my issue, to see us doing similar kinds of training two nations to understand about doing the right thing, particularly in that fight against terrorism. I think that is incredibly important, as well.

So our cooperation runs very deep and learning and even more so in the area of defence. I was excited to accept your very kind invitation when we met last at NATO to come here to Ankara, but as I mentioned to you when we met this morning, I was a little disappointed to discover how many Brits have already been here in the in between time, particularly when it comes to defence I am certainly not the first, and just as with that, William Harborne’s visit 440 years ago, the friendship that started between our two nations and our diplomatic relations that flourish and as soon as we mark the anniversary of your republic, I look forward to the time that we've had together being projected forward for an alliance in our modern age.”