World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


No new mandate needed: AWACS flights over Turkey

Schröder: No new parliamentary mandate needed for AWACS flights over Turkey

Speaking in parliament on March 19, Chancellor Schröder said NATO AWACS planes carry out routine surveillance flight to monitor the air space over Turkey, a NATO member, and in this role do not provide any support for missions in or against Iraq.

Speaking in the German Bundestag on March 19 Chancellor Gerhard Schröder reaffirmed his government's rejection of a military intervention in Iraq, saying it was a very normal consequence of this position that German forces would not be directly involved in any military action. He noted that this included German crew members on NATO AWACS planes as well as the German NBC defense forces in Kuwait.

No further parliamentary approval needed for AWACS flights over Turkey

Schröder said NATO AWACS planes are carrying out routine surveillance flights over Turkish territory on the basis of a decision taken by NATO's Defence Planning Committee on February 19 this year. Their sole mission is strictly defensive surveillance of the air space over Turkey. Based on NATO's rules of engagement they cannot provide any support for missions in or against Iraq, Schröder noted. Given that these AWACS planes are under NATO command in Europe (SACEUR) there is a clear dividing line between their tasks and those of the US Central Command under General Franks. Schröder noted in this connection that General Franks has nearly 100 AWACS aircraft of his own for military operations against Iraq. He said that since NATO planes are flying under NATO command, at a different geographical location, and with an entirely different mission, i.e. to monitor and safeguard Turkish air space, his government is convinced that there is no need for further parliamentary approval.

Schröder indicated that the mission of the German NBC defense forces in Kuwait is specifically limited. They are acting on the basis of a parliamentary decision in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This is the sole mandate for these forces. They, too, will not be involved in offensive action against Iraq, Schröder said. Part of their mandate involves providing humanitarian assistance in Kuwait. For this reason the German NBC defense force carry out joint exercises with Kuwaiti forces. There is a mandate for this so it will not be necessary to obtain a new mandate in this case either, Schröder noted.

Overflight rights will not be denied to NATO partners

With regard to protecting US assets, using US bases in Germany, as well as granting overflight rights Schröder said the stance taken by the German government on the Iraq conflict did not change the fact that the United States and Great Britain are alliance partners and friends. The alliance provides rights but it also imposes obligations. These obligations follow from the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty and various status-of-forces agreements. Schröder reaffirmed that the German government would continue to respect these agreements. He said there may be differing positions on this in international law, but in light of Germany's alliance obligations the German government would continue to allow the use of US bases and not deny overflight rights. He added that it went without saying that American assets would be protected and - to the extent possible - also the families of military personnel living in Germany.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC