Turkey wants command of NATO missile shield if installed on its territory

20:02, November 15, 2010      

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Turkey said Monday it wants to be in command of the NATO missile defense system if it is installed on its territory, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

"If the missile shield system is thought to be installed on our territory, its command should definitely be in our hands, otherwise, it is impossible for us to accept such a thing," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as telling reporters in Istanbul after returning from visits to South Korea and Bangladesh early Monday.

The Turkish military was working on the issue and the system would be debated in the NATO Summit to be held in Lisbon on Nov. 19-20, said Erdogan.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has proposed to expand NATO's existing missile defense system, which currently only covers deployed troops, to protect citizens of all member states by linking up anti-missile systems of member states.

The United States has been talking to Turkey as well as Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria, over the missile shield.

A NATO member since 1952, Turkey has demanded the missile shield be launched under the framework of "deterrent" concept and opposed naming of a particular state in NATO papers as a threat against the alliance.

Source: Xinhua


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