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Anti-missile radar to be deployed in Turkey - Foreign Ministry

RIA Novosti

10:19 02/09/2011 ANKARA, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - An early warning radar system will be deployed in Turkey within the NATO missile defense program, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said on Friday.

"The deployment of this [missile defense] element in Turkey will constitute our contribution to the defense system being developed within the new NATO [defense] strategy and will strengthen the defense potential of NATO as well as our national defense system," Unal said.

Talks on the radar deployment are in their final stage, he added.

Local media reported that the radar is planned to be installed in the country's southeast.

Russia and NATO agreed at a Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon in November 2010 to work together on the missile shield but NATO wants it to be based on two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

In June, Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said the United States was already deploying its missile defense system in Europe without waiting for an agreement with Russia.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. The United States insists that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran, but Moscow demands legally binding guarantees that the NATO missile defense systems will not be directed against it.

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