Turkish PM rebukes NATO over China missile deal criticism

imgTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rebuffed intensified international criticism over Turkey’s choice to engage a missile defense deal with China, a day after NATO wanted a say in the decision-making process.

“Nobody has the right to overshadow our independence perception,” the Prime Minister said Oct. 23 before departing for Kosovo.

Recalling NATO’s discontentment over Turkey’s decision to accept a Chinese bid to build its first long-range anti-missile system, Erdoğan said “if NATO is that sensitive about the issue it would remove the chemical weapons in Russia’s inventory.”

The prime minister’s statement came a day after NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s remarks expressed the hope that NATO’S reaction will be taken into account before Turkey makes its final decision.

Rasmussen stressed NATO is completely aware that it’s a national decision to decide which equipment to purchase, but also said ”it’s of utmost importance what that the system’s nation’s plan to acquire can work and operate together with similar systems in other Allied nations.”

Ignoring NATO’s stance regarding the issue, Erdoğan said there is no problem with the deal in terms of Turkey’s national preferences.

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