Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that Turkey will never make a third party privy to intelligence collected by the NATO radar system located in the country – especially if that party is Israel, the Al Arabiya news network reported.
“We will never allow any third country to use any NATO facility. Our position will be even more clear if it is particularly Israel,” Davutoglu was quoted as saying during a joint press conference with NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is visiting Ankara.
Iran: NATO radar in Turkey serves to protect IsraelIsraeli village for earthquake victims inaugurated in Turkey Netanyahu embarks on historic visit to Cyprus
According to the report, Davutoglu made the statement in response to reports that the United States and Israel have carried out a joint missile test by using intelligence gathered by the NATO radar system based in eastern Turkey.
Rasmussen, on his part, expressed NATO's appreciation for Turkey's willingness to host the facility.
“Data are shared within our alliance among the allies," he was quoted as saying. "It is a defense system to protect the populations of NATO allies.”
He did not mentioning Israel, which is not a NATO member.
The radar system is believed to located in Turkey with the aim of collecting intelligence on the neighboring Iran and its nuclear development. The West sees Turkey as an important alley in all that is concerned with the possibility of a strike on the Islamic Republic, due to its strategic location.
But Davutoglu stressed during Friday's conference that the radar system was not directed at any nation in particular.
“This system is not against any country,” he said. “It is entirely for defense purposes.”
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop