Berlin ready to sell military hardware to Turkey

18th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 November 2004, ANKARA - German Defence Minister Peter Struck on Thursday said that he would personally back selling military equipment to Turkey noting that there had been great improvements in human rights in the past five years. "If such a request comes from the Turkish government some time in the future then I, as defence minister, would recommend to the chancellor and foreign minister that the request be granted," Struck told reporters at a joint press conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpa

18 November 2004

ANKARA - German Defence Minister Peter Struck on Thursday said that he would personally back selling military equipment to Turkey noting that there had been great improvements in human rights in the past five years.

"If such a request comes from the Turkish government some time in the future then I, as defence minister, would recommend to the chancellor and foreign minister that the request be granted," Struck told reporters at a joint press conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul.

While Struck said that he was not in Ankara to sell tanks, Gonul raised the possibility that Turkey may seek to buy German-made Leopard 2 tanks before it gets its own tank production programme up to speed.

Citing financial reasons Turkey recently cancelled a number of military projects, including a USD one billion tank project. Studies are continuing as to what will replace the projects.

The ministers said they had discussed Iraq, Afghanistan and Nato during their discussions with Gonul saying that Turkey was prepared to co-operate in the formation of a European Union rapid-reaction force even though Turkey was not a member of the union.

DPA

Subject: German news

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