Turkey Joins NATO’S Missile Defense System

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 1:16 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkey's Foreign Ministry says an early warning radar system will be installed at a military base in the country's southeast as part of NATO's missile defense system for Europe. It is aimed at countering the threat of missile attacks from Iran.

The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the radar will be installed at a military base in Kurecik in Malatya province.

Iran, which is Turkey's neighbor, has warned Ankara that the decision will escalate regional tensions.

Turkey's announcement was made one day after Romania signed an agreement to allow the U.S. to place SM-3 ground-based interceptors in Romania as part of the missile defense system.

Turkey agreed to deploy the radar system earlier this month.

The 28-member NATO alliance endorsed plans for an anti-missile system to protect Europe against Iranian ballistic missiles at a summit in Portugal last year.

Russia also opposes the planned system because Moscow says it believes it could threaten its own nuclear missiles or undermine its deterrence capability.