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[casi] NATO to support TURKEY in IRAQ

NATO to support Turkey over Iraq: Robertson

Turkey has an important role to play in the region and beyond, the NATO
Secretary General said.

October 24- NATO would extend assistance to Turkey should it deploy troops
in Iraq as part of an international peace keeping force, NATO Secretary
General Lord George Robertson said late on Thursday.

Robertson, in Turkey as part of his round of farewell visits to NATO member
states before he stands down at the end of the year, said that NATO ally
Turkey had a key role to play in the region, and that his successor, Dutch
Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, would continue to devote himself to
Turkey's defence

The NATO Secretary General described Turkey as an ally that continued to
play an extremely important role in defence, and was on the front line in
the fight against terrorism and instability and in coping with the problems
of the 21st century.

Speaking at a press conference with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül, Robertson
called on Turkey to provide greater support to NATO efforts to establish
peace and stability in Afghanistan, where the International Stability and
Assistance Force is now under NATO' s direct command.

Later on Thursday, Robertson met with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Defence
Minister Vecdi Gönül and Chief of the General Staff Hilmi Özkok.

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