Foreign Minister says Turkey open for alternative missile offers

Foreign Minister says Turkey open for alternative missile offers

PanARMENIAN.Net - Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Sunday, Feb 2, that Turkey hasn't decided on a missile defense system and is open to alternative offers -- if joint production is guaranteed, according to Today's Zaman.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Davutoğlu said that Turkey is still negotiating and he held a meeting with a U.S. company on Saturday.

“The decision has not been finalized. If the other companies give us assurance of joint production in Turkey and technology transfer, of course we wish to do this with NATO allies,” he said.

Joint production, he added, delivery time and price are Turkey's three top priorities in buying a long-range missile-defense system. "Everyone knows how difficult it is if you want to buy something from the United States, there is a long process of getting permission. If those companies are offering us joint production, it is negotiable," Davutoğlu said.

Last year, Turkey announced that it had provisionally chosen China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. (CPMIEC) in a tender to produce a long-range missile defense system. Ankara said the firm was the only one among four companies willing to co-produce the defense system with Turkey and also made the lowest bid.

NATO member Turkey's selection of the Chinese missile system for its defense program, code-named T-Loramids, frustrated the U.S., which had been advising Ankara not to opt for a non-NATO missile system that it said would cause interoperability problems.

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