Poland, Turkey bound by Nato goals

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland and Turkey have common goals as Nato members, the main of which is their security and that of their allies, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Monday in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Addressing a press conference after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Duda said he was pleased to see both countries develop strong ties in Nato.

"I am pleased to see that we are working together in Nato, that we share common goals. The main of these are to ensure our countries' safety, and to eliminate any military threats in the area around our countries and other countries of the North Atlantic Alliance," Duda said.

Erdogan called Poland and Turkey "model partners" in Nato, and stressed that both countries had large contributions to security in regions where Nato forces were stationed.

He thanked Poland for participating in the Nato mission in Turkey, and announced that Turkey will send aircraft to Poland under the ongoing Nato Air Policing mission.

Duda also praised the ongoing cooperation between Poland's and Turkey's defence industries. In this context, he especially mentioned Poland's decision to buy Turkish reconnaissance and assault UAVs under a USD 270- million agreement sealed by the Polish defence minister, who is accompanying him in Turkey.

He added that Poland and Turkey have also sealed an accord on the mutual protection of classified defence industry data.

The UAV agreement foresees the purchase by Poland of four Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UAV batteries, each with 24 vehicles. The Bayraktars are adapted for reconnaissance work, and can also be armed with guided missiles. The first battery is to arrive in Poland next year.

The agreement also contains technology transfer clauses, and ensures the vehicles' servicing in Poland.

Erdogan said the Bayraktar drones purchased by Poland were "the best of three Nato countries," and gave his assurance that Turkey will provide Poland with the related technology.

He added that Poland was the first Nato state to buy Turkish UAVs, and announced plans for further cooperation in this area with Poland.

Duda pointed out that his talks with Erdogan preceded the June 14 Nato summit, hence also covered issues like security in the Black Sea region, as well as the situation in Ukraine, Syria and Libya.