US ambassador applauds democratization package
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone welcomes the democratization package. DAILY NEWS photoU.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone has welcomed the democratization package announced by the Turkish prime minister on Monday.
“All the Turkish people, government and opposition want more,” Ricciardone told a group of journalists at a reception for the Chinese National Day in Ankara, adding that the U.S. believes this package is very important for Turkey.
“You want a strong and better democracy. It’s up to you, not us. We wish you success. You Turks will determine what’s missing and what has to be done. We will be cheering for you on the sidelines wishing you courage and strength. You need to know that your friends are with you,” the ambassador said, when asked if he thought the package needed further steps.
‘We hope you will choose a NATO compatible missile defense system’
Ambassador Ricciardone also elaborated on the recent decision of the Turkish government to start contract discussions with a Chinese company for Turkey’s long awaited long range missile defense system.
“Turkey is a NATO ally. When we see the need for its defense we act as an ally and we are going to do that for as long as we are allies,” he said. “We hope you will choose a NATO compatible system so that you will have the best air defense system in the world.”
On Sept. 26, NATO member Turkey chose a Chinese defense firm under U.S. sanctions to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defense system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, U.S., French and Italian firms.