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FACTDROP: Gordon says Turkey remains critical ally for US and NATO
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1/10/2012

Gordon says Turkey remains critical ally for US and NATO

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon

Πηγή: Todays Zaman
Jan 10 2012

Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon, of the US State Department, said at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., on Monday that Turkey remains a critical ally for the United States within the scope of its new defense strategy.

In a briefing with foreign reporters at the Foreign Press Center in Washington on the recent US Defense Strategy Review and Europe, Gordon said, in response to a question over Turkey’s role in U.S. defense strategy, Turkey remains a critical NATO and US ally. The defense partnership is especially important because of threats in the region.

The question also asked about the strategic importance of İncirlik Airbase – an important base for NATO and the US – as stated in the review regarding the threats coming from Iran and China. Gordon said the review didn’t address specifics about particular airbases. Gordon said that you couldn’t interpret the review as saying anything but that “Turkey will remain a hugely critical ally for the United States.”

Turkey had come under fire from Iran for its agreement to implement a NATO early-warning defense shield as a critical addition to the new NATO defense system that seeks to protect Europe from missiles coming from outside Europe. Although Turkey says the system does not target any particular country, the US makes no secret that the system has Iran in mind as a major threat.

In a related development, US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Monday said Turkey and US share the same strategic goals with regard to the Iran issue and clarified that US sanctions targeting Iran were a key topic discussed throughout US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns’ recent visit to Turkey.



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