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'No intel sharing with Israel'

BRUSSELS / MADRID | 10/7/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey will trust NATO member states’ pledge that they will not share the intelligence they gather from NATO’s early warning radar system with Israel, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters in Brussels.

Turkey will trust NATO member states’ pledge that they will not share the intelligence they gather from NATO’s early warning radar system with Israel, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters in Brussels.

“We need to trust states’ words. This is a NATO facility and it shouldn’t be used beyond the scope of this purpose,” Yılmaz said, adding that the basic purpose of the NATO missile defense system was to ensure security for Europe. A NATO anti-missile radar will be installed in a military facility in Turkey’s Kürecik’s district in the central province of Malatya. Nobody had the right to object to a project that was solely for defensive means, Yılmaz said, adding that it was a defensive radar system, not a missile or an assault system.

In the meantime, Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said the system did “not target anyone,” after Russia criticized Madrid’s decision to join the program. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced Oct. 5 during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels that Spain had agreed to host four U.S. naval ships equipped with interceptors designed to knock out incoming missiles. Russia’s Foreign Ministry objected Oct. 6 to the plan, saying the move could end its cooperation with the NATO missile shield. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Israel would not have access to intelligence from the missile defense system. “Clearly, the NATO members are the ones that will participate in the program and access information produced by the missile defense system,” Panetta said.

Compiled from AA and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.

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