Turkey has not yet requested NATO missiles: Dutch minister

Reuters News

11/19/2012 3:15:15 AM - Reuters News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Netherlands has not received a formal request to send Patriot missiles to NATO ally Turkey to help defend the country's border with Syria, the Dutch Defence Minister said on Monday.

"We did not receive a formal request yet," Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told reporters in Brussels. "We are waiting for a formal request."

Turkey has said it has intensified talks with NATO allies on how to shore up security on its 900-km (560-mile) frontier with Syria after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed inside its territory.

A spokesman for Germany's Defence Ministry said on Saturday NATO would consider any request from Turkey and confirmed that the United States, the Netherlands and Germany were the countries that had the appropriate Patriot missiles available.

The German official was speaking after a report in Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that Turkey would formally ask NATO on Monday to set up missiles on its border with Syria due to growing concern about spillover from the civil war in its neighbour. (Reporting by Sebastian Moffett; Editing by Catherine Evans)