Officials of the U.S. Department of State are working on necessary agreements with Turkey to achieve passage through the Turkish straits for sustaining the humanitarian operation, including sending naval vessels to war-torn Georgia, a Pentagon spokesperson said on Monday.
Bryan Whitman said U.S. aircraft carried humanitarian aid to Georgia and that U.S. officials were looking at other options for the humanitarian operation.
Last week, a U.S. newspaper claimed that Ankara had not cleared U.S. naval hospital ships USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort to steam to Georgia through the Istanbul Strait (the Bosphorus) and the Canakkale Strait (the Dardanelles) that connect the Aegean and the Black seas.
But U.S. officials denied claims saying Washington had made no formal request of Ankara to allow two hospital ships.
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "Turkey has been fully cooperating with countries, especially the allies, which aim at sending humanitarian aid to Georgia. So far, Turkey has not rejected any request for dispatch of humanitarian aid and evacuation of people."
Vessel passage through the Turkish straits is regulated by the Montreux Convention signed in 1936.
Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2008, 11:05