German cabinet to discuss extension of Patriot deployment in Turkey

Photo: German cabinet to discuss extension of Patriot deployment in Turkey / Turkey

The German government is set to discuss on Wednesday the extension of the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey against possible threats from Syria Anadoly News Agency reported.

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen are expected to make short presentations during Wednesday's cabinet meeting on the recent situation in the region, as well as political and legal aspects ofGermany's contribution to NATO's Operation Active Fence.

Germany's previous conservative-liberal coalition government had decided in December 2012 to station two Patriot batteries in Turkey, following a request by Ankara and a decision by NATO's North Atlantic Council. Germany's Federal Parliament authorized the deployment on December 12, while setting a 31 January 2014 deadline for the mission.

The German government needs authorization by the Federal Parliament, the Bundestag, for extending the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey. Merkel's conservative-left coalition government sworn in last month enjoys an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

The Patriot batteries provided by Germany have been stationed in Kahramanmaras since January 2013 and they have been operating under the command and control of NATO. The mission involves up to 400 troops from the German military. The costs of the deployment which is estimated to be around 25 million euros are covered by Germany.

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