US insistent on missile system in Turkey, not more Afghan troops

Gates said, we have discussed the possibility of erecting two radars in Turkey.

US insistent on missile system in Turkey, not more Afghan troops

United States (U.S.) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Saturday his meeting with the Chief of Turkish General Staff, General Ilker Basbug, was almost completely devoted to the issues of Afghanistan and PKK.

Speaking to a group of Turkish and U.S. journalists in Ankara, Secretary Gates said that they had "not requested any new troops from Turkey."

We are pleased with the partnership between Turkey and the U.S. in Afghanistan, Gates said.

We "discussed, with General Basbug, Turkey's role in the missile defense system and relations between our armies", Gates noted.

"PKK issue"


We carry a will to further develop cooperation with Turkey against the terrorist organization PKK as was set forth by former U.S. President George W. Bush back in 2007, Gates stressed.

We are searching for new opportunities that Turkey could utilize against the threat emanating from terrorist organization PKK, Gates said.

The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, had arrived in Ankara to hold talks on this (PKK) issue, Gates emphasized.

Cooperation between Turkey and the U.S., against PKK, is getting more intense, Gates said.

In regard to his talks at the Turkish General Staff, Secretary Gates said that "as the General noted, the final solution does not involve killing all".

While speaking with the leader of the regional administration in north of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, I have stressed the importance of placing pressure on PKK to end violence, Gates said.

"Missile defense system"

The dialogue on what Turkey could do within NATO to counter the proliferation of ballistic missiles via a missile defense system continues. We have discussed the possibility of erecting two radars in Turkey, Gates said.

Reminded by a journalist about comments made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that there were actually countries in the region that possessed nuclear weapons, aside from Iran, like Israel, Secretary Gates argued, that Iran was "a country that openly announced a will to destroy another country" and violated the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

We are "not against" Iran's peaceful nuclear works. However, Iran continues efforts for uranium enrichment, Gates noted.

I have not seen a progress with Iran on this matter. In order to be a progress, the Iranians must give up their enriched uranium to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Secretary Gates said.

Asked if Turkey is making sufficient efforts in regard to the issue of Iran, Gates said that Turkey was valuable as they could talk to the Iranians, a mission highly difficult for the U.S.

There could be opportunities (from Turkey's dialogue with Iran). We need to have a common understanding on concerns expressed, under the roof of the United Nations, pertaining to programs inititated by Iran, Gates stressed.

I have observed such an understanding in Turkey. We will continue on this path, Gates underlined.

Asked about what he thinks on comments made that Turkey has shifted its axis, Secretary Gates said that Turkey was in a unique position geographically and that their efforts in all fields must be received positively.

We are extremely pleased with Turkey's contributions in Afghanistan. We have received a promise from "allies and partners" for the deployment of 10,000 additional personnel. We pay high importance to personnel that can train individuals (Afghans) in the areas of military and security, Gates said.

Iran says it enriches uranium for civilian applications and that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has a right to the technology already in the hands of many others.

Israel, most experts estimate that it has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, often threatens Iran with an attack.

Agencies

Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2010, 10:38
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