Turkey to report Syria at NATO
Turkey is expected to raise the issue of “violation” of its Syria border at a NATO ministerial meeting today, while Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is planned to attend to the Friends of the Syrian People group’s meeting in Paris on April 19.
Davutoğlu will move to Paris from Brussels after attending to the NATO’s foreign ministers meeting. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, is also expecting to be present in Paris meeting. The meeting in Brussels, to be attended by Davutoğlu and Turkey’s Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, will prepare the ground for NATO Heads of State and Government Summit in Chicago on May 20-21. On April 9, Syrian forces opened fired and wounded four Syrians and two Turkish staff working at a refugee camp in the first case of Syrian fire hitting people on Turkish soil. Ankara strongly condemned the “violation” of its border, with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan saying: “NATO has responsibilities with regards to Turkey’s borders, according to Article 5.”
NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense system will be high on the agenda at today’s meeting. Davutoğlu and Yılmaz will also hold several bilateral meetings during their stay in Brussels. The foreign ministers of NATO member states will participate in the NATO-Russia Council, while foreign ministers of non-NATO states will contribute to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan on April 19. The first phase of the NATO missile defense system - with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors on Aegis ships (the USS Monterrey in the Mediterranean Sea) and tracking radars on Turkish soil - is expected to be declared operational at the Chicago summit. The radar in Kürecik district of Malatya province was launched after an agreement between Turkey and the U.S. The radar will be commanded from the Alliance’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The command center of the radar system at the 2nd Tactical Air Command in Diyarbakır will ensure coordination with the headquarters in Germany. The whole missile defense system will be managed from the Geilenkirchen base in Germany, where a Turkish general and his team will be among the officers.