Turkey and Burundi have signed a security agreement that envisages joint military intelligence cooperation against third countries.
According to the agreement obtained by the Nordic Research and Monitoring Network (NRMN), a Stockholm-based nongovernmental organization. Article 8 of the agreement states that “regarding the countries considered to harm the mutual interests of the Parties and to be determined jointly, shall cover the developments in the area of interest of the Armed forces of the Parties, priority being given to the military activities and exchange of military intelligence information about the activities of these countries in Turkey and Burundi.”
The two countries committed to protecting classified information and to refrain from sharing it with other countries. Article 7 of the agreement reads, “The classified information and material shall not be disclosed to or shared with (or transferred to) a third party without prior written consent of the Party providing them.”
The agreement was signed on September 8, 2018 in Ankara by the chiefs of general staff of Turkey and Burundi. It was approved by the Turkish parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affairs on December 12, 2018. The agreement is valid for five years with automatic renewals unless one party notifies the other in advance of withdrawal.
Among the areas of cooperation are military training and education, exchange of personnel, participation in exercises, training and joint exercises, the defense industry, logistics, military intelligence, communications and counter terrorism.
Opposition Turkish lawmaker Ahmet Haluk Koc questioned the vagueness in the wording of the agreement, asking whether Turkey would consider Belgium or countries that have problems with Burundi as third countries against whom Turkey and Burundi will cooperate on military and intelligence matters. “What kind of interest does Turkey seek jointly with Burundi with this deal?” he said.