Istanbul – Defence Minister Matej Tonin attended the opening of the IDEF International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul on Tuesday, where he also met his counterparts from Turkey and Kosovo. According to a statement from the ministry, the main topics discussed were the situation in Afghanistan and the wildfires in Turkey.
Tonin expressed his condolences to his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar for the deaths caused by the wildfires in Turkey. He was also briefed by Akar on current developments in Afghanistan, in particular the situation in the wider Kabul airport area.
Turkey is involved in providing security at the Kabul airport, which has become the main window for the evacuation of foreign nationals and their Afghan associates from Afghanistan.
Tonin welcomed Turkey’s readiness to help, which includes the help offered to those Afghans who had assisted the Slovenian Armed Forces and who had subsequently asked for Slovenia’s protection.
As Tonin explained for POP TV on Tuesday evening, this is a group of 14 people with whom they are in constant contact. One family is already in Kabul, but not yet at the airport, while others are still making their way to the Afghan capital.
Tonin and Akar also discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of defence, which is currently modest, according to the Defence Ministry, but both ministers would like to see it expanded.
In this context, they called for the completion of the signing of a technical agreement on cooperation between the defence industries of the two countries, which could be signed when Akar visits Ljubljana. The ministers also identified mountain warfare as an opportunity to build on bilateral cooperation.
On the sidelines of the IDEF fair, which was not attended by the Slovenian defence industry, Tonin also met his Kosovo counterpart Armend Mehaj. They discussed the possibilities of cooperation between the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Kosovo Security Forces. The Kosovo minister also stressed the desire to bring Kosovo closer to NATO.