US ‘very concerned’ by Turkey-China missile deal

US ‘very concerned’ by Turkey-China missile deal
Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:08:18

The United States is very concerned about a missile deal between Turkey and China, US Ambassador in to Turkey Francis Ricciardone has said.

Speaking at the Diplomacy Correspondents Association meeting, the US ambassador said: "There is no secret at all. We are very concerned about the missile deal between Turkey and China."

Ricciardone said he understands the deal is a "commercial decision" and it is in Turkey's sovereign right but that the US shares the same concerns with NATO and is concerned about what it means for allied air defense.

"We will have very respectful conversations as friends with the Turkish government. We are concerned, but Turkey will make it's own decision," Today’s Zaman quoted the US envoy as saying.

Turkey, a member of the NATO military alliance, announced in September it had chosen the FD-2000 missile defense system from China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) over rival systems from Russian, US and European firms.

CPMIEC is under US sanctions for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

Turkey has said it is likely to sign the $3.4 billion missile defense deal with CPMIEC but that its decision is not yet final. Some defense analysts had expected the contract to go to US company Raytheon Co or the Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP/T.

Diplomats say buying a system that does not work with NATO systems would hamper the ability of NATO allies to work together, undermining a principle of the 28-nation alliance.