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POLITICS > US ‘backs’ Turkish bid for Patriots

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NATO’s Patriots would be deployed
Turkey’s long border with Syria. AFP Photo

NATO’s Patriots would be deployed Turkey’s long border with Syria. AFP Photo

Washington supports Turkey’s request for the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles along its border with Syria, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said in an interview with Voice of America (VOA).

The Pentagon chief said the U.S. supported the request and that talks with Turkey were under way. “They have asked that we work with them to try to see what we can do to give them some missile defense capability. We are working with them, and our hope is that we can help provide that kind of assistance,” VOA quoted Panetta as saying on Nov. 15.

Panetta’s statement does not represent anything new on the matter, according to Turkish officials, who said it was natural for Turkey to continue its consultations with NATO members on every issue. Turkey has not yet made an official request to the alliance for the temporary deployment of the Patriots, officials stated.

Speaking in a recent interview with the Financial Times, President Abdullah Gül suggested the Patriot missiles could act as a deterrent against a possible chemical weapons threat from Syria.

“It is known that Syria has chemical weapons, and they have old Soviet delivery systems, so if there is, in some eventuality, some sort of madness in this respect and some action is taken, contingency planning has to be put in place, and this is something NATO is doing,” Gül said. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also said Nov. 9 that Turkey had not yet officially appealed to NATO for the deployment of Patriots on its territory, but added that the issue was on the agenda of Turkey-NATO talks as part of contingency plans for potential threats stemming from the conflict in neighboring Syria.

“Contingency plans with NATO were made a few months ago due to the internal conflict in Syria,” Davutoğlu said, noting that NATO had also reacted when Syrian shells fell on the Turkish border town of Akçakale last month, killing five Turkish nationals, since a member country’s border is treated as NATO’s border.

“There is no appeal [to NATO] yet,” he said, reiterating that the issue was discussed during contingency talks between Turkish and NATO officials.

The Turkish army bolstered its presence along its Syria border after the Akçakale incident and the recent bombings of the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, which is adjacent to the Turkish border town of Ceylanpınar.

November/17/2012

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Aryeh Rapaport

11/17/2012 5:01:43 PM

The USm NATO should not give Turkey this capability. They should recognize Turkey is promoting Islamic extremism, Sunnism, Sectarianism, conflict in region and world. Erdogan is not a true partner of the west, doesnt promote freedom, democracy, self determination but religion.

ilker avni

11/17/2012 7:19:06 AM

Turkey is getting ready for the kick off,in case Iran rains down her missiles on Turkish soil,it seems were getting ready for the Mayan prediction of the Worlds end due in 22/12/2012.It may sound like a joke but could we be heading that way.With Israel calling upto 70 thousand reserves for duty it means invasion of Gaza,that could lead to another Arab upriseing against Israel this time which would unite all Arabs,Could allso mean the end of the camp David peace accord with Egypt.

turkic voice

11/17/2012 4:07:10 AM

what we dont even have this means of defence yet????

Eric Martin

11/17/2012 12:42:24 AM

We have NO FREETRADE AGREEMENT with the USA! WHY? They sell to us and we sell NOTHING to them. WHY? We should build our 'own' antirocket systems.
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