World Bulletin/News Desk
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday that it was a national decision to decide which equipment to purchase, referring to Turkey's missile defense deal with China.
Rasmussen told reporters, following the closing of the first day of a two-day NATO defense ministers meeting, Turkey could buy equipment from any source.
Turkey could accept a Chinese bid to build its first long-range anti-missile system to which NATO members are strongly opposed, he said.
Rasmussen said he hoped Turkey would keep in mind the military alliance's views as it mulls a missile defense deal with China.
"Our position is very clear. It's a national decision to decide which equipment to purchase," Rasmussen said. "However, seen from a NATO perspective, it's of utmost importance that the systems nations plan to acquire can work and operate together with similar systems in other allied nations. I feel confident Turkey is aware of this NATO position and will take that into account before taking the final decision."
Turkey's Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said earlier that China had provided the best price.
Rasmussen also said Spain, Portugal and Italy offered to host the forthcoming NATO military exercises in 2015 in the meeting and the offers were welcomed positively by the defense ministers.Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2013, 15:17