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Turkey, Azerbaijan To Launch Joint Military Facility

Turkey will join forces with Azerbaijan to establish an arms production company in Baku as part of Turkey's years-long military cooperation with the South Caucasus country, which remains at war with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Azerbaijani company Azersimtel is currently holding discussions over the structure and scope of the new company's operations. The Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKE) will reportedly hold a large share of the military facility. In the first stage of production, the company is expected to produce attack weaponry for the Azerbaijani armed forces.

In the following stages of production, the company will produce materiel, munitions and ammunition, as well. Using the trade networks of both Azerbaijan and Turkey, the arms company will most likely export some of its products abroad.

Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey first emerged in 1992 with an agreement signed between the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments on military education. Since then, the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments have closely cooperated on defense and security. As a sign of high-level military relations, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Col. Gen. Safar Abiyev traveled to Turkey on an official visit last April. The Turkish and Azerbaijani delegations discussed cooperation in military areas during that visit as well as issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

ASELSAN, a leading Turkish defense contractor, currently operates in Azerbaijan.

Source: Today's Zaman


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