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NATO Statement On Tukey Defensive Deployment

Statement

by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson
after the NATO Defence Planning Committee Meeting
on 16 February 2003

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and thank you for your patience. It’s been a long day for all of us. But we have come to a conclusion.

Ambassadors of 18 NATO nations, members in the Defence Planning Committee of NATO, came to this building this morning confident that we had the elements necessary to provide the basis for a consensus decision.

The discussions today were both arduous but constructive. One country – Belgium – proposed amendments to a draft decision sheet which were discussed and considered at some length.

I am happy to announce that we have been able – collectively – to overcome the impasse we have faced for the past few days.

We agree on substance, we agree on timing and we agree on how to integrate our collective solidarity with Turkey in the wider context.

A political decision backed by consensus has always been the preferred choice of this Alliance. The search for consensus remains a cornerstone of how the North Atlantic Alliance operates.

It is therefore with great personal satisfaction that I can now confirm that the 18 NATO Allies, members of the integrated military structure, agreed today to task military planners to begin their work and advise Allies with military advice on the following possible missions:

preventive deployment of AWACS aircraft;
NATO support for the deployment of theatre missile defences for Turkey;
NATO support for possible deployment of Allied chemical and biological defence capabilities.
The military authorities will also review contingency plans related to the reinforcement of Turkey in the context of the current situation, and update these plans as needed.

These measures are intended to provide Turkey solely with defensive assistance.

Alliance solidarity has prevailed. NATO nations have assumed their collective responsibility towards Turkey, a nation at the moment under threat.

In closing, I wish to say that my choices were always taken having in mind the greater interest of the Alliance as a whole. My job as Secretary General of NATO is to lead the nations towards consensus. And that is what I’ve done today. Thank you very much.

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