Ambassador: Agreement with China can affect Turkish-U.S relations
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 24 / Trend R. Hafizoglu /
An agreement to create long range missiles with China could affect Turkish-U.S trade relations, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said today, TRT Haber TV channel reported.
According to the ambassador, at present relations between Turkey and the U.S are still at a high level, but Washington regrets the signing of an agreement on long range missiles with China.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on October 24 that Turkey's interests are paramount in creating the missiles.
According to him, Turkey takes into account the opinion of its allies, but there is nothing illegal in the country's action.
The prime minister said earlier that Turkey's actions on the creation of such missiles are legitimate. The country does not consider NATO's statement on the issue important.
It was earlier reported that an agreement on building long range missiles will be signed with China in late 2013.
It was announced at a meeting of the Turkish Defence Industry Executive Committee on September 2013 that the Chinese CPMIEC company won the tender. It was also reported that these missiles will be created by the Chinese company in cooperation with Turkish companies.
A meeting of the executive committee of the Turkish defence industry was chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the participation of the head of the Turkish General Staff Necdet Ozel, Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Deputy Minister of the Defence Industry Murad Bayar.
Moreover, it is reported the U.S. authorities informed Turkey of their concerns about the country's intentions to cooperate with China in the creation of missile defence systems.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the priority for Ankara is to create the missiles in the country.
The Turkish defence industry has recently focused on developing and manufacturing its own products. Turkey managed to achieve a self-sufficiency level of 54 per cent in the defence industry.