Military cooperation between FYROM and Turkey
Turkey delivered to the Armed Forces of FYROM military equipment worth $ 900,000 at a ceremony held on October 14 on a maintenance base in Skopje, in the presence of FYROM’s Defense Minister Fatmir Besimi, the Turkish ambassador Gürol Sökmensüer and senior officers of the Turkish Army.
Specifically, 18 Land Rover vehicles, 95 telephones for use in campaigns and night observation equipment, constructed by the Turkish defense industry, were delivered.
In his speech, the Defence Minister Besimi (who is a Muslim with Albanian origin) thanked Turkey, highlighting the close ties between the two countries and revealed several interesting facts about the bilateral military cooperation between the two countries. From 1998 FYROM and Turkey have signed a total of 22 military agreements. At least 600 members of the armed forces of the country have been trained in Turkey, of whom 82 are graduates of the War Academy in Ankara. The height of the Turkish military aid to Skopje amounts to $ 16 million and by the end of the year another delivery of equipment for the Special Forces and logistical support, worth $ 1.15 million, is expected.
From the information available, the latest delivery of military equipment to FYROM took place in October 2008 and involved Land Rover vehicles, generators and tents, totaling $ 275,000. Note that with the help of Ankara, two communications interception stations operate near the Greek border, through which it is possible to intercept Greek communications and hence monitor the military movements in northern Greece. Also, recall that in 1999 Turkey offered to donate to Skopje 20 F-5 fighter jets, a project that ultimately did not materialize.
By the end of this year a new military contract worth $ 1.35 million is expected to be signed.