US Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone has said at a meeting in İstanbul that as Turkey’s defense industry grows, it will become one of the major areas of cooperation in Turkish-American economic relations.
The ambassador was speaking at a reception he hosted on Wednesday for companies participating at the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF’11) and said this fair would help both Turkish and American firms find new opportunities and partners.
Noting that he was proud of the American contribution to Turkey’s success in the defense industry, the ambassador said soldiers, diplomats and civilians of both countries worked together to establish peace and security in the world, citing Somalia and Libya as examples.
Ricciardone said the US supported Turkey in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), adding that the two countries’ cooperation in the field of national security had always been strong and would continue to be so.
Ricciardone also noted that IDEF’11 would contribute to the improvement of Turkish-US trade and investments.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül officially opened this year’s defense fair, which will last through Friday.
The biennial fair is held under the auspices and support of the Ministry of Defense and under the management and responsibility of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation.
A total of 621 domestic and foreign companies and company representatives from 48 countries as well as ministers and military chiefs from several countries are meeting at the three-day event at İstanbul’s Tüyap Fair, Convention and Congress Center.
Istanbul – TZ