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Pakistan calls on Turkey, Qatar to enhance defence ties

Pakistan has invited Turkey and Qatar to jointly manufacture defence equipment, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said yesterday, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan.

Sharif made the call for the trilateral cooperation during his meeting with Qatari Defence Minister Dr Khalid Bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah in the capital, Islamabad.

The premier said his country was ready to support Qatar in every field. He also noted that bilateral relations between Islamabad and Ankara continue to be on the rise.

Supporting Sharif's proposal, Khalid said his country too wanted to see enhanced military cooperation and production of equipment in Qatar with the assistance of Pakistan and Turkey.

Islamabad recently agreed to sell eight locally-manufactured Mushshak training aircraft to Doha. Turkey also recently signed an agreement to get 100 such aircrafts from Pakistan, according to a statement of the Ministry of Defence Production.

Qatar has also shown interest in buying the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, which is a joint production of Pakistan and China.

"Qatar sees Pakistan as a strategic partner and every effort would be made to make this relationship more stronger," Khalid was quoted as saying.

He also sought Pakistan's expertise in forming a counter-terrorism training academy in the Qatari capital, Doha.

"With the assistance and cooperation of Pakistan, we want to improve our military hardware to be prepared for the uncertain threat of terrorism, prevailing in the region," he added.

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