Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Washington on February 13, 2012
Source: Press TV
The US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has reportedly thanked Turkey for its ongoing support for the Western military alliance of NATO.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, George Little announced that in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Washington on February 13, Panetta expressed his gratitude for Turkey’s contribution to a planned NATO missile system by hosting the system’s US-made radar in the country earlier in the year.
Davutoglu was in Washington from February 8 to 13 at the US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s invitation to meet with administration officials and congressional leaders.
Little added that recent developments in Syria, Afghanistan, and security issues of common interest were also discussed during the meeting.
Turkey has hosted the radar in the Kurecik district of the eastern province of Malatya.
Russia has criticized the plan and denounced the military alliance's efforts to advance eastwards.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says Turkey's collaboration with NATO would mark another step in the direction of the deployment of ‘the European segment’ of a global US missile system.
It says the NATO missile system does not provide security for Washington's European allies and is effectively aimed at Russia.