Pakistan enters into trilateral military industrial complex agreement

Pakistan enters into trilateral military industrial complex agreement

LAHORE: Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey trilateral military industrial complex is in making. The three countries held their first trilateral talks in Baku. 

The three countries have all had defence related agreements in the past with each other, but are now looking towards creating a trilateral format of defence cooperation, which could prove vital given the strategic location each country has in its own region.

The foundation of the new trilateral Azerbaijan-Pakistan-Turkey cooperation was laid and 1st Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Baku, on November 30, 2017

Already, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has encouraged Pakistan to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which was built on the basis of the Azerbaijani-Georgian-Turkish interstate agreement.

It is also worth noting that while Turkey is already an ardent ally of Azerbaijan, given their history and involvement with Armenia, Pakistan’s addition to the mix will also aid Baku in their struggle. This could also mean Turkey and Azerbaijan reciprocating with increased support to Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute.

Speaking exclusively to Pakistan Today, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Alizade said: “Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and Turkey are brotherly countries and already have a strategic partnership on a bilateral level. Traditional friendly relations between our countries based on confidence, trust and respect have given us the confidence to take this to a trilateral level.”

This sentiment was also expressed by Cavusoglu, who said that the partnership between the three countries was ideal, explaining “We do not compete with each other in this sphere, but complement each other.”

In his turn, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that the three countries closely cooperate in the defence industry in a bilateral format and stressed the need for a tripartite format of cooperation in that sphere. “We can establish joint ventures for the production of defence products and develop cooperation in this sphere in a trilateral format,” he added.

Fuad Shahbazov, Expert-Advisor at Foreign Policy Analysis Department Centre for Strategic Studies under the President Azerbaijan, explained the significance of the meeting to Pakistan Today, saying, “Each country is a key player in their own region. Hence, the trilateral cooperation in regional security and economic cooperation were on the top agenda during the ministerial meeting.”

Meanwhile, it seems that all three countries want to get started with the military-industrial complex. First suggested by Khawaja Asif at the Baku talks, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Saeed Khan Mohmand told Pakistan Today, “Our three countries already have excellent defence cooperation bilaterally; however, by pooling resources, taking advantage of each other’s relative expertise and engaging in joint ventures, we can significantly boost our defence cooperation.”

Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov receives Pakistan Ambassador Saeed Khan Mohmand

Ambassador Alizade, while praising the existing relations between the countries also seemed hopeful for the future, which could greatly help Azerbaijan’s nascent stage defence industry.

“I think we can establish and enhance defence industrial cooperation at a trilateral level, in spheres ranging from military-technical to science, research, design, production, and sales,” he told Pakistan Today.

Fuad Shahbazov also predicted that the joint military-industrial complex was not far away, and that several high-level meetings of Azerbaijan and Pakistan military delegations both in Baku and Islamabad had taken place in recent years.

“Since its establishment, Pakistan has been able to build effective military industry throughout these years, and now pretends to be one of the biggest weapons exporters in South Asia. Baku has been seeking ways of expanding military cooperation with Pakistan, particularly over the last several years,” he said.