The defense chiefs of Turkey and Italy discussed bilateral and regional defense and security issues and defense cooperation in a telephone conversation on Thursday.
Hulusi Akar congratulated Guido Crosetto on his new post and wished him success, calling Turkey and Italy “very important” friends and allies, according to a Turkish Defense Ministry statement.
Akar pointed out that increasing bilateral military relations and defense cooperation resources within the framework drawn by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will bring the strategic partnership to a higher level.
In this regard, Turkey is ready to further develop its bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Italy in the Mediterranean and other regions, Akar said.
He added that cooperation and unity in the fight against terrorism will contribute to peace, stability and security in the region and the world.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish and Italian Interior Ministers spoke on the phone about combating illegal immigration.
Süleyman Soylu and Matteo Piantedosi also discussed cooperation between the police, gendarmerie and coast guard, the Turkish Interior Ministry said.
The two ministries agreed to further develop relations between the two countries.
Turkey has long been a major transit point for irregular migrants seeking to move to Europe and start a new life, particularly those fleeing war and persecution in their homelands.
The Italian Prime Minister recently said that Italy and Turkey are the two main players in the Mediterranean.
Meloni spoke at a press conference after the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, where he praised the summit and its communications.
“Italy and Turkey are historically two major players in the Mediterranean (region). It’s important for the two countries to talk to each other in this way, for example about energy and the migration crisis,” he said.
Erdogan met Italian Prime Minister Meloni for the first time after the right-wing coalition won the general election on September 25.
Turkey and Italy are two regional powers with common interests, common history and common values in the Mediterranean basin. In this sense, the Turkish-Italian bilateral relations should be defined as a strategic partnership, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey and Italy are working together to address regional and global challenges. From Afghanistan to Lebanon, the two countries work together to bring peace and stability to a vast geography.
Currently, Italy is Turkey’s fourth largest trading partner. Current areas of cooperation include energy, defense industry, tourism, infrastructure, automobile, chemical industry; but there is still great potential for further development of economic and trade relations.