The visiting Italian Prime Minister and Turkey’s President speak at a joint press conference alongside the visiting Italian Prime Minister. Turkish-Italian defense industry cooperation will be entirely based on mutual benefit for Turkey & Italy. It was the third intergovernmental meeting between Erdogan and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The two countries signed nine new agreements on bilateral cooperation. Italy is a key player in the field. We discussed common projects and interests in energy security during our meeting, including our collaboration in laying subsea pipes at the Sakarya gas field in the Black Sea, Erdogan said. He continues, “Our military and defense industry cooperation with Italy is especially important.” We both agree that it is in our mutual interests to strengthen our ties in this area.
Erdogan also stated that his country’s defense ministry is eager to reach an agreement on the SAMP/T air defense system project with Rome and France as soon as possible. The three countries recently stated their intention to revive a deal that had been blocked by France following Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria in 2019. The most important aspect of the Turkey and Italy talks will be SAMP/T. The SAMP/T system is meant to provide medium and long-range air defense. It defends sensitive sites and deployed forces against missile and aircraft threats (TBM, stand-off, cruise missiles, ARM) by replacing all existing medium-range ground-to-air systems. The SAMP/primary T’s mission is to protect deployed troops and critical fixed assets. In 2011, the French Army, Air Force, and Italian Army all used the SAMP/T in combat. Despite this, the Italian Air Force employs a different MEADS air defense system. On a flight back from Brussels, Turkish President Erdogan told reporters that he intends to sign the long-stalled contract with Italy. The Turkish Prime Minister earlier spoke to Macron about the renewal of the project, which the Italian Prime Minister confirmed to the Italian press. (Erdogan stated, “We discussed this issue with [Italian Prime Minister Mario] Draghi and [French President Emmanuel] Macron.” “Draghi raised this issue with Macron after me,” Turkey’s president said.
Intergovernmental talks b/w Turkey & Italy
On the sidelines of the NATO summit held in Brussels last week, the three leaders discussed the resumption of the trilateral projects and the possibility of buying SAMP/T missile defense systems from the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the summit. The intergovernmental trilateral talks started a long time earlier but were interrupted. The third intergovernmental summit was made possible after 10 years when Turkey and Italy moved forward to enhance their bilateral cooperation. Apart from the discussion regarding energy and defense cooperation, the two leaders also discussed Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as well as its consequences for Europe’s political, security, and economic environments. The two also discussed establishing a corridor to transport stranded Ukrainian grain to global markets via Black Sea shipping routes. Moreover, the countries discussed Turkey-EU relations and the global problems related to the bilateral relations between Turkey and Italy. The two countries are also strategic partners in NATO. The Italian President, on his visit, praised Turkey’s “facilitator role” between Ukraine and Russia, particularly its efforts to open a Black Sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports. “These are the constraints that will lead to major disasters in the world’s poorest countries.” Turkey plays an important role in this. I hope that Russia will support this initiative and pave the way for the next round of peace talks, “he stated.