- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Turkey conditionally approves NATO missile shield
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 950 days ago | Saturday, 16th October , 2010 , 03:18 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.|| Turkey indicated Thursday during a meeting of NATO ministers that it could approve the deployment of a proposed U.S.-led anti-missile system on Turkish soil, though it expressed reservations about the project.
â€œWe demanded that Iran and Syria not be cited as â€˜threatsâ€™ in NATOâ€™s official documents on the planned defensive shield,â€ Turkish Foreign Ministry officials told the HÃ¼rriyet Daily
Turkey indicated Thursday during a meeting of NATO ministers that it could approve the deployment of a proposed U.S.-led anti-missile system on Turkish soil, though it expressed reservations about the project.
â€œWe demanded that Iran and Syria not be cited as â€˜threatsâ€™ in NATOâ€™s official documents on the planned defensive shield,â€ Turkish Foreign Ministry officials told the HÃ¼rriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday. â€œAlso, the deployment of the shield should cover the territory of all NATO allies, as well as the entire territory of Turkey.â€
The defense and foreign ministers of NATO member countries gathered in Brussels on Thursday to discuss a new â€œstrategic conceptâ€ that will shape the allianceâ€™s new vision to face new threats. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu and Defense Minister Vecdi GÃ¶nÃ¼l attended the event, where they met with their U.S. counterparts, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to talk about extending the allianceâ€™s missile-defense system against ballistic threats from Iran and North Korea.
Ankara told the U.S. officials that if defense is the purpose of the system, no nations should be named in NATO documents as targets, since that would provoke those countries, according to the same diplomatic sources.
â€œIn that case, Turkey could face problems with its neighbors due to the missile shield,â€ diplomatic sources told the Daily News.
The technical discussions on the issue will continue until the NATO summit Nov. 19-20 in Brussels, where a decision is expected to be made.
â€œThis is not a reservation, but the conditions needed for negotiation. We are negotiating the terms of it, and naturally parties are presenting their opinions,â€ Defense Minister GÃ¶nÃ¼l told reporters Friday.
Recalling that Turkey was assessing the compatibility of the proposed missile system with Turkeyâ€™s own missile capabilities, GÃ¶nÃ¼l said one important concern for Turkey is how the NATO missile shield would affect the national missile system and what kind of cost advantages it would bring. He said the proposed NATO missile-shield system could bring significant cost reductions for Turkey.
â€œThe missile shield is a defense system, so it canâ€™t target any country,â€ GÃ¶nÃ¼l said, responding to concerns that the missile shield targets Iran.
NATO leaders are expected to sign the strategic concept, which will replace a document written in 1999, at the November summit. The draft of the new strategic concept has been delivered to the allianceâ€™s members, and Turkey has voiced objections to the wording of the documents, which specifies certain countries, including Iran, as threats.
The United States has been talking to Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria about the planned missile shield, which it intends to deploy under the auspices of NATO.hurriyet, Voice of a Nation