Turkish FM to participate NATO meeting on missile shield plan

21:42, October 13, 2010      

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday he would leave for Brussels to discuss with NATO member nations setting up a U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

"I will depart for Brussels later today or tomorrow to participate in NATO talks over the issue and we will assess together what could be done in line with a joint strategy of the Alliance," Davutoglu said at a joint press conference with visiting Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

The proposed missile system -- expected to cost nearly 280 million U.S. dollars -- is an anti-ballistic missile "shield" which would be extended across NATO's territory.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy Jim Townsend said in a press briefing last month that Turkey played a major role in the U.S. missile defense system due to its geographic location.

Turkish media reported Tuesday that foreign and defense ministers of the NATO member countries will gather Thursday in Brussels to discuss the new strategic concept of the alliance, which will be submitted to the approval of the leaders in the upcoming Lisbon summit scheduled for Nov. 19-20.

Source: Xinhua


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