German Parliament to decide on Patriot deployment

Turkey has applied to NATO for the deployment of Patriot missiles along its border with Syria. The decision was announced by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on 21 November. The mission is intended to be of a purely defensive nature.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said during the budget debate in the Bundestag, Germany’s Parliament, that at first glance he believed the application fulfilled the German Government’s criteria. For instance, the mission would be of a purely defensive nature, with no offensive operations being supported. Should that evaluation prove to be correct, he went on, the German Government would recommend that the Bundestag approve the deployment of German soldiers required in this context. He saw no reason to reject Turkey’s request, the Minister said, citing the importance of solidarity within the Alliance.

Turkey wants to use the Patriot missiles to protect its territory against Syrian attacks. Apart from the USA and the Netherlands, Germany is the only NATO country to own the most advanced version of the Patriot missile defence system. First of all, NATO intends to send a fact-finding mission to Turkey. Defence Minister de Maizière announced that the German Government would now draft a mandate as soon as possible, to be put before the Bundestag for approval.

Last updated 21.11.2012

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