WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta underlined Washington's commitment to maintaining strong security ties with Turkey in talks Tuesday with his Turkish counterpart, Ismet Yildiz, a US spokesman said.
Panetta also made clear the US military stood ready to provide more humanitarian help as needed after Turkey's devastating earthquake last week, Captain John Kirby said in a statement.
"Secretary Panetta reassured Minister Yildiz of America's commitment to a strong security relationship with Turkey, praised Turkey's contributions to the training mission in Afghanistan and pledged to continue assisting in earthquake relief efforts should that support be required," he said.
The discussions Tuesday covered "a broad range of mutually significant security issues, to include defense-industrial cooperation, Foreign Military Sales, the common threat of terrorism and regional challenges," the statement said.
A defense official said the two discussed a wave of unrest in Syria and Turkey's concerns over the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which launched an attack last month that left 24 Turkish soldiers dead.
The talks touched on Turkey's interest in bolstering its forces with more helicopters and unmanned drone aircraft, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. (AFP)