Ramussen : Dogu Akdeniz’de Türk – İsrail Çatışması!

BRÜKSEL – NATO sekreteri genel sekreteri , Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Türkiye ve Güney Kıbrıs’ın yanı sıra İsrail ile ilişkileri arasında doğal gaz arama üzerinden gerginliğin farkında olduklarını, Akdeniz’de Türkiye’nin daha iddialı dış politikasının bir sonucu olarak gördükleri bu durumdan huzursuzluk duyuyoruz fakat bir Türk – İsrail çatışmasını da öngörmediklerini ifade ederek iki ülke arasında gerginliği yumuşatma yolu sağlayacak bir çözüm bulmayı umduğunu belirtti.

Sayın Rasmussen,  vazgeçilmez bir NATO üyesi olarak Türkiye’ nin , Batı Bloğu ve isyanlarla, devrimlerle çalkalanan Arap ülkeleri arasında “köprü” olarak hizmet edebileceğini dile getirerek Türkiye’ye övgü dolu sözler söyledi.

Kısacası Dogu Akdeniz konusunda orta bir yol bulunur, Türkiye Arap Dünyası ile daha fazla ilgilenmeli, ekseninde bir kayma yok, Biz Batı Bloğu olarak Türkiye’ nin Dogu ile bu kadar ilgilenmesinden memnunuz diyorlar.

NATO Leader Expresses Concern Over Turkish Foreign Policy

BRUSSELS — NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, expressed disquiet on Friday about Turkey’s more assertive foreign policy in the Mediterranean, saying that tensions over natural-gas exploration between Turkey and Cyprus as well as relations with Israel were “a matter of concern.”

Mr. Rasmussen said he did not foresee the tension turning into conflict in the Mediterranean, and he praised Turkey as a indispensable member of NATO that could help serve “as a bridge” between the West and the Arab countries now engaged in revolts and revolutions.

“Obviously the tensions between Turkey and Israel are a matter of concern,” he said in an interview here. “It’s a bilateral issue, NATO is not going to interfere with that,” he added, “but it is the interest of the alliance to see these tensions eased, because Turkey is a key ally and Israel is a valuable partner for the alliance.” Turkey has become increasingly outspoken in support of the Palestinians and in its animosity toward Israel, once an important ally.

Mr. Rasmussen emphasized that NATO, as an alliance that works by consensus, would not become involved in bilateral matters or the domestic politics of member countries.

Asked about Turkey’s warning that it might send military ships toward Cyprus, which is exploring for natural gas in the Mediterranean, as is Israel, Mr. Rasmussen said that “NATO as an organization is not going to interfere with these disputes,” while adding, “I do not envisage armed conflict in the eastern part of the Mediterranean.”

Relations with Turkey have to be managed carefully as it asserts a growing role on the global stage, he suggested. “I think Turkey can play a stabilizing role in the region and serve as a role model for countries in the region that are currently transforming from dictatorship into democracy,” he said.

Mr. Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark who is now two years into his NATO post, also praised Turkey’s decision to participate in a new missile-defense system for NATO. He said it was evidence of the commitment of Turkey to the trans-Atlantic alliance and a signal that its was not turning away from its Western orientation. The government in Ankara has agreed to host on its territory a sophisticated American radar system that will form part of the missile shield.

About Russia and the decision of President Dmitri A. Medvedev to make way for Vladimir V. Putin, he said: “We’ll see what I would call continuity in the Kremlin. I don’t expect major changes there in Russian foreign and security policy.” He said he thought Russia remained committed to working with NATO on missile defense, a main aim of Mr. Rasmussen’s tenure.

Another central objective for the NATO secretary general is to persuade European allies to coordinate defense spending and cooperate on procurement to try to ensure that military capabilities improve, despite the expenditure cuts being pushed through by many national governments.

Mr. Rasmussen criticized a proposal from the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain to set up a defense-planning headquarters for the European Union based in Brussels. The plan is opposed by Britain, which sees the move as a duplication of NATO facilities and a waste of money — a view echoed by Mr. Rasmussen.

“Honestly speaking, what we need is investment in military hardware and not in new bureaucracies and headquarters,” he said. “I don’t think we need more headquarters. What we need is more investment in critical military capabilities.”

“I’m neither naïve nor unrealistic,” added Mr. Rasmussen. “I know very well, as a politician, that during a period of economic austerity you cannot expect increases in defense budgets.” That fact, he said, indicated that the alliance countries “need to make more effective use of our resources through more multinational cooperation — what I call smart defense.”

Mr. Rasmussen rejected suggestions that the United States was reducing its commitment to NATO because it took a secondary role in the operations against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya. “The American commitment to NATO remains as strong as ever,” he said. “The U.S. was strongly engaged in this operation, and we could not have carried out this operation successfully without the unique and essential U.S. assets.” In particular, he mentioned intelligence, drone aircraft and air-to-air refueling, all areas in which European members should invest more, he said.

“The positive story, he said, “is that Europeans took the lead and that was actually a clear response to an American request for more European engagement, a call on Europeans to take more responsibility, and the Europeans stepped up to the plate.”

He said that there was “a division of labor which makes it possible for our alliance, in a flexible way, to conduct several operations at the same time,” with the Americans leading in Afghanistan, several European nations in the forefront in Libya and the Germans taking charge in Kosovo.



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