No official request for NATO Patriots

No official request for NATO Patriots

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
No official request for NATO Patriots

Ahmet Davutoğlu (R) meets with his Egyptian counterpart Kamel Amr. AA photo

Turkey has not yet officially appealed to NATO for deployment of Patriot missiles on its territory, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Nov. 9, but added that the issue is on the agenda of Turkey-NATO talks as part of contingency plans for potential threats stemming from the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Davutoğlu’s remarks came in response to questions at a joint press conference with Egypt’s visiting Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr.

Necessary steps taken

“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 the Syrian shelling of the Turkish border town of Akçakale in October killed 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 an item during contingency discussions between Turkish and NATO officials.

Asked about heated clashes between opposition militants and government soldiers in Ras al-Ayn, which is just across Ceylanpınar in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, the minister briefly said the necessary precautions were being taken.

Meanwhile, Amr praised Turkey’s progress in last decade when asked whether Turkey could be a model for Arab Spring countries. “Turkey-Egypt relations are entering a new phase. Every country has its own specific conditions, but benefit can be driven by common principles,” Amr said.