ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s foreign minister says his country will soon make a formal request to NATO for Patriot missiles to bolster anti-aircraft defenses along its border with Syria.
Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters Tuesday that talks with Turkey’s allies on this possible deployment have reached the “final stage.”
He said: “The formal negotiations will be concluded at the shortest time possible. They won’t last much longer.”
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday in Brussels that NATO would consider Turkey’s request as a matter of urgency. He said NATO has drawn up plans to defend Turkey.
NATO installed anti-aircraft batteries in Turkey during the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars. They were never used and later removed.
Within the alliance, only the United States, Germany and the Netherlands have Patriots in their arsenals.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)