Commander of NATO forces visits Turkey to discuss missile defense

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Admiral James Stavridis

From Sevil Küçükkoşum, Hurriyet:  “Landing in Ankara, Turkey, for discussions on missile defense, Afghanistan, Libya, and NATO reform,” NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe James Stavridis said in a post on Twitter late Monday.

Adm. Stavridis held talks in Turkey after visits to Israel and Romania. Stavridis met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz. Although the admiral requested an appointment with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he could not meet Turkey’s premier due to Erdoğan’s busy schedule. The core of the discussions was the U.S.-led NATO missile shield project, whose early-warning radar system will be deployed in Turkey.

Ankara decided to host the radar at a military facility base near Malatya as part of NATO’s defense architecture. The discussions also included Turkey’s objections to Israel’s attempt to open a representation office at NATO headquarters, the Daily News has learned. . . .

Adm. Stavridis last visited Turkey in March to discuss Turkish participation in NATO-led operations in Libya.

Meanwhile, pro-Turkish chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee’s sub-committee on Europe and Eurasia Dan Burton met Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and was scheduled to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Erdoğan when the Daily News went print.  (photo: Hurriyet)

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