Chief of Staff: Military cooperation with Turkey continues

Michael Shvadron, IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

Lt. Gen. Ashkeinazi attended the NATO conference on terrorism in Turkey and met with senior Turkish officials; “This visit reflects the ties between the armies and security apparatuses.”

Date: 15/03/2010, 8:08 PM    

On Monday morning (Mar. 15), the IDF (Zahal) Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, visited Turkey, following the invitation of his counterpart, the Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, Gen. Ilker Basbug. Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi participated in NATO’s international conference on terrorism and international preventive cooperation and is expected to land in Israel on Monday night (Mar. 15).

During his visit, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi met with his Turkish counterpart and with the Turkish Minister of Defense, Mr. Vecdi Gonul. Prior to the meeting, an official ceremony took place in the Turkish Ministry of Defense, welcoming Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi, and with the participation of a Turkish military honor guard.

“This visit reflects the ties between the armies and security apparatuses. I was received warmly here, I met with the senior Turkish security officials, and participated in the seminar on the subject of fighting terrorism and I am very pleased with the content,” said the Chief of the General Staff. “I do not need to specify the importance of the ties between Turkey and Israel on a strategic level. The military collaboration between the security apparatuses will continue,” he added.

Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi visited the Memorial honoring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, known as the “Father of the Turkish Nation” and founder of the Republic of Turkey. He also attended the official NATO conference dinner, hosted by the Chief of the Turkish Army.

The last visit by an IDF (Zahal) Chief of the General Staff in Turkey took place in December of 2005, with the visit of Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz.