US supports Turkey’s Patriot request: Panetta
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks with his counterparts during the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers Retreat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, 16 November 2012. EPA photo
Washington supports Turkey’s request for the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles along its border, 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.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu 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.