NATO top military commander urges Turkey to choose compatible defence system

imgNATO’s top military commander urged Turkey on Wednesday to buy a missile defence system that is compatible with other NATO systems, questioning whether the $3.4 billion Chinese system that Ankara is leaning towards is suitable.

The comments by U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, add to pressure on Ankara to rethink its decision to build a missile defence system with a Chinese firm.
NATO member Turkey said in September it had chosen the FD-2000 missile defence system from China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp, or CPMIEC, over systems from Russian, U.S. and European firms.

CPMIEC is under U.S. sanctions for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act. Turkey later said its decision on the deal was not final.

Stressing that the choice was for Turkey to make, Breedlove said his concern was that all NATO members took decisions that contributed to the collective defence of the alliance and selected equipment that would work with other NATO systems.

“In my conversations with the Turkish military … the important point is that we have systems that are completely inter-operable and … suitable for plugging in to NATO networks,” he said in an interview with two reporters in Latvia, where he was visiting a major NATO exercise.

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