AFG launches Sky Bridge complex in New Capital    Dahab Development opens reservation for ITC project at New Capital    Egypt is Canada's top trading partner in Africa: Ambassador Louis Dumas    Hope Givers Foundation honours Egyptologist Ali Abu Dashish    EJB forms new board, pledges to support national economy    Travel bans due to Omicron "hammer blow" to South Africa's local economy recovery: official    Egypt celebrates Day of Mediterranean    MICO entertainment platform enters Egyptian market    Health Ministry advises public to adhere to protective measures to tackle Omicron variant    Art D'Egypte concludes 4th contemporary art exhibition "Forever is Now" at Giza Plateau    Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo to launch exhibition highlighting Arab-Austrian ties    Egypt, Israel sign deal sign MoU to increase gas supplies, hydrogen transport    Egypt's stocks end week in green as benchmark EWX 30 surges 0.69%    Mortada Mansour sets road map for Zamalek, after normalization committee depart    I seek to secure stable financial sources to build strong judo team: Motei Fakhr El-Din    Egyptian karate players dazzle world in UAE    Orascom Construction joins consortium to develop Egypt's first green hydrogen production facility    Egypt's high committee to organise COP27 convenes to review preparations    98 potential candidates run for Libyan presidency    'Lake Victoria – Mediterranean' navigation corridor awaits feasibility studies, funds: official    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Palestine's Foreign Ministry rejects UK's decision to designate Hamas as terror group    Egypt selected to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022    Number of British tourists to Egypt seen hitting 500,000 this winter – envoy    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







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Turkey urges NATO to keep up its Patriot defences
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 10 - 2015

Turkey appealed to its NATO allies on Thursday to shore up missile defences in the country aimed at shooting down Syrian rockets, as Germany said again that it will withdraw its Patriot batteries and the United States was set to do the same.
NATO is now waiting for other nations to plug those gaps.
Days after Russian jets violated Turkey's airspace near Syria, Ankara's NATO envoy urged the U.S.-led alliance to continue to deploy air defence systems, according to two people briefed on talks at a defence ministers meeting in Brussels.
While NATO's secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said he was prepared to send ground forces to defend Turkey, the situation raised questions about NATO's strategy in the country, which shares a border with both Syria and Iraq.
Germany's defence minister said Berlin would go ahead with plans to switch off its Patriot batteries in Turkey next week and withdraw most of the soldiers operating them before Christmas. All soldiers and materiel are due to be withdrawn by the end of January.
"This decision (to withdraw the Patriots) is right," Ursula von der Leyen said as she arrived for the meeting.
"The question is what danger can be warded off in which way," she said. The comments appeared to suggest that the Turkish air force is capable of intercepting fighter jets.
Backing up that suggestion and acknowledging that there were discussions about ways to reassure Turkey and deter Russia, Stoltenberg told journalists after the morning session: "What we now see is other kinds of challenges. But again, we are discussing with different allies, with Turkey, how and in what format we can support them."
As Russian and U.S. planes fly combat missions over the same country for the first time since World War Two, NATO is eager to avoid any international escalation of the Syrian conflict that has unexpectedly turned the alliance's attention away from Ukraine following Russia's annexation of Crimea last year.
NATO deployed its Patriot missiles in January 2013 in Turkey and Spain now has batteries in place to confront ballistic missiles launched by Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.
The United States will withdraw its Patriot deployment any day for modernisation. France and Italy are understood to be willing to join Spain, but no decision has been taken, people familiar with the discussion say.
Spain's Defence Minister Pedro Morenes said this week that although he was concerned by Russia's incursion into Turkish airspace, his nation's Patriots were deployed to defend "against attacks with missiles coming from Syria".
Since 2012, NATO has detected several hundred ballistic missile launches with Syria, emphasising what it sees as the need for an effective defence of Turkey.
READY, WILLING AND ABLE
Officials at the U.S.-led alliance are still smarting from Russia's weekend incursions into Turkey's airspace near northern Syria. In public comments, Stoltenberg says the alliance's support of its 28 allies is unwavering.
"NATO is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey against any threats," he said as he arrived for the meeting.
"NATO has already responded by increasing our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces including to the south, including in Turkey," he said, noting that Russia's air and cruise missile strikes were "reasons for concern".
The incursions of two Russian fighters in Turkish airspace on Saturday and Sunday has brought the Syria conflict right up to NATO's borders, testing the alliance's ability to deter a newly assertive Russia without seeking direct confrontation.
While the United States has ruled out military cooperation with Russia in Syria, NATO defence ministers will discuss how to encourage Russia to help resolve the crisis, betting that Moscow also wants to avoid being bogged down in a long conflict.
For 40 years, NATO's central task was deterring Russia in the east during the Cold War, but now, after a decade-long involvement in Afghanistan, the alliance is facing a reality-check close to home, with multiple threats near its borders.
Divisions between eastern NATO members, who want to keep the focus on the Ukraine crisis, and others who fret about Islamic State militants, risk hampering a unified response from the 28-nation North Atlantic alliance.
France and Britain, NATO's two main European powers, are understood to be willing to see the alliance use its new 5,000-strong rapid reaction force beyond NATO borders, potentially helping stabilise post-conflict governments in Libya or Syria.
Others nations, including Poland and the Baltics, want a permanent NATO presence on their territory to act as a credible deterrent to any further effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin to gain influence in former Soviet states.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/152410.aspx


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