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China Daily Website

NATO approves Turkey missile request

Updated: 2012-12-05 02:59
( Xinhua)

BRUSSELS - NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday approved Turkey's request for Patriot missiles to defend it from potential attack from neighboring Syria.

"In response to Turkey's request, NATO has decided to augment Turkey's air defense capabilities in order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the alliance's border," foreign ministers from 28 NATO countries said in a statement after one-day meeting.

"We welcome the intention of Germany, the Netherlands and the United States to provide Patriot missile batteries, subject to their respective national procedures...Any deployment will be defensive only. It will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation," it said.

According to the statement, the Patriots would be under the operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which serves as one of NATO's two strategic commanders.

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