Nato has plans to defend Turkey if need be: Rasmussen

Nato secretary-general hopes the two countries would find a way to stop tensions escalating
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, Oct 09 2012. 04 37 PM IST
Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen briefing the media at the start of a Nato defence ministers meeting at the alliance headquarters in Brussels. Photo: AFP
Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen briefing the media at the start of a Nato defence ministers meeting at the alliance headquarters in Brussels. Photo: AFP
Updated: Tue, Oct 09 2012. 05 04 PM IST
Brussels: The head of Nato said on Tuesday that the 28-member military alliance had plans in place to defend Turkey against attack from Syria if necessary, but that he hoped the two countries would find a way to stop tensions escalating.
Nato ambassadors threw their support behind Turkey in an emergency meeting last week after Syrian shells struck a border town in Turkey killing five civilians.
The two neighbours have repeatedly exchanged fire since then, the most serious outbreak of cross-border violence since Syria’s revolt against President Bashar al-Assad erupted 18 months ago.
“We have all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary,” secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters before a meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels.
On Monday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said the “worst-case scenarios” were now playing out in Syria and that Turkey would do everything necessary to protect itself.
Gul said that the violence in Turkey’s southern neighbour, where a revolt against Assad has evolved into a civil war that threatens to draw in regional powers, could not go on indefinitely.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said on Monday the escalation of the conflict along the Turkey-Syria border and the impact of the crisis on Lebanon were “extremely dangerous”.
The Turkish army fired back on Monday for a sixth day after a shell from Syria flew over the border and has bolstered its presence along the 900-km (560-mile) frontier in recent days.
Rasmussen commended the Turkish government for its restraint, saying he hoped the parties would avoid an escalation of the crisis.
“Obviously Turkey has a right to defend herself within international law,” he said. “I would add to that that obviously Turkey can rely on Nato solidarity.”
Turkey joined Nato in 1952. Reuters
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, Oct 09 2012. 04 37 PM IST
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Wed, Nov 19 2014. 04 58 PM
  • Wed, Nov 12 2014. 05 13 PM
Subscribe |  Contact Us  |  mint Code  |  Privacy policy  |  Terms of Use  |  Advertising  |  Mint Apps  |  About HT Media  |  Jobs
Contact Us
Copyright © 2014 HT Media All Rights Reserved