NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg: No talks about no-fly zone in Syria yet

Politics  
2014-10-09 15:57:47

NATO's newly appointed chief visits Turkey to discuss the crisis in Iraq and Syria as the key Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane seems set to fall to ISIL.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg: No talks about no-fly zone in Syria yet
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Neither a potential no-fly zone nor a safe haven in Syria have been on the table of any NATO discussions, said the organization’s newly appointed chief on Thursday. 

Head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara to discuss the crises in Iraq and Syria as the key Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane seems set to fall to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, militants. 

"There have been calls for a no-fly zone and a safe zone," said Stoltenberg. "It has not been on the table of any NATO discussions yet and it is not an issue which is discussed in NATO."

Turkey has repeatedly called on the international community to set up a no-fly zone and a safe haven for fleeing refugees in Syria, near the Turkish border. 

Turkey sees the establishment of a no-fly zone and a safe haven as a priority if the U.S.-led coalition wants to join forces with Ankara against ISIL.

Stoltenberg also said that Patriot missiles deployed in Turkey were a "concrete" sign of NATO solidarity. 

The U.S., Germany and the Netherlands each sent two Patriot batteries in 2012 to bolster Turkish air defense against potential attacks from Syria in response to a request from Ankara for NATO assistance.

Stoltenberg is also expected to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and  Chief of General Staff General Necdet Ozel.

During his two-day stay in Turkey, Stoltenberg will also visit the U.S. Patriot missile units deployed in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep.

Anadolu Agency
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