Countries have ‘own decision-making processes,’ Hagel says on Turkey’s China deal
WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. REUTERS PhotoThe United States is continuing to work with the Turkish government on the issue of a controversial recent missile deal with China, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said, noting that every country has its own process of decision-making.
Hagel was attending an event at the Turkish Embassy to Washington when he was asked about Turkey’s decision to opt for a Chinese bidder in a missile defense system tender. “Turkey is a close friend and ally to the U.S., a strong member of NATO, and we will continue working together within the framework of mutual security interests. Each country has its own decision-making process, and we care deeply about Turkey as a friend, partner, ally and, most of all, as a NATO ally,” Hagel said.
The secretary of defense said the U.S. was working “with the Turkish government” on all related subjects, including the compatibility of the Chinese system with NATO ones.
The Turkish government’s decision to start negotiations with a Chinese firm for the co-production of the $3.4 billion missile defense system triggered serious concerns at NATO and among member countries, particularly the U.S.
Along with Rasmussen, U.S. officials voiced their concerns and made clear their expectation that Turkey should not sign a deal with a non-NATO country.
Turkey said the selection was not politically motivated and that the Chinese offer met Turkey’s main demands on price and requirement that production be undertaken in Turkey.