Turkey Ready for Those Border Missiles
Germany expects request to be made to NATO today
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 19, 2012 8:23 AM CST
This amateur video provided to AP Video shows billowing smoke in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, as seen from the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/AP Video)

(Newser) – Turkey said it wanted Patriot missiles along its border with Syria, and it's set to make that request official today by formally asking NATO for said missiles, Germany's defense minister says. Germany, the Netherlands, and the US are the only countries within NATO that could provide the weaponry, Reuters notes. "If a partner now asks us for such a measure, it is clear for us that we will face this in an open way and with solidarity," says the defense minister. "But if we have a deployment of Patriots on the Turkish border, then this will happen with German soldiers."

NATO's secretary-general notes that any missile deployment would not also mean imposing a no-fly zone over Syrian territory, a key demand of Syrian opposition groups, reports the AP. "If we are to deploy Patriot missiles it would be purely a defensive measure to defend and protect Turkey," he said.

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Nov 20, 2012 11:03 AM CST
Dialogue Conference Rejects Foreign Interference, Endorses Formation of Follow-up Committee to Achieve National Reconciliation The Syrian National Dialogue Conference stressed rejection of any form of foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs and the necessity of exerting all efforts to hold the comprehensive national dialogue and achieve the national reconciliation. Wrapping up its activities on Monday, the two-day conference endorsed the formation of follow-up committee to follow up the Syrian national dialogue and prepare for holding the next national dialogue conference due to be held in Damascus. In its final statement, the conference reiterated rejection of all forms of violence and condemned those who smuggle weapons to the gunmen in Syria and support terrorists. It also called for the need to dry up the sources of terrorism which flow into Syria from Arab, regional and international sides. The statement considered that the crisis in Syria has reached an acute status which is opened to the most dangerous possibilities, therefore the participants in the conference called for stopping violence, starting dialogue and launching a political process and a road map drawn by the Syrians themselves without any foreign interference to reach a comprehensive and peaceful democratic change through the ballot boxes. It stressed that the participants in the conference called on Iran and the BRICS countries to put all possible and serious pressures on the Turkish regime due to its central , dangerous and direct role in the crisis in Syria. They also called on the UN and the human rights organization to interfere to stop the dangerous violations regarding the statements and direct military interference or training armed terrorist groups with the aim of committing assassination operations as Britain is doing. The statement condemned all forms of terrorism and sectarian instigation and civil war. It condemned the economic sanctions imposed on Syria and all other sanctions that targeted mainly the Syrian people. In this regard, the participants drew the attention of the international community, particularly the UN bodies and the human rights organizations to the risks and the repercussions of these sanctions and boycott on the Syrian people, calling to immediately lift them. The participants also called on all sides to set procedures that contribute in creating a climate of safety for the Syrian people, launching dialogue, discussing the file of detainees and missing, allowing the humanitarian assistance to reach the disaster areas besides putting the safety of the roads in the hands of the Syrian Army. The statement condemned the Israeli military aggression on Gaza and in the occupied Syrian Golan exploiting the current situation and the crisis in Syria. The participants in the conference thanked Iran, government and people for hosting the conference, its neutral stance and genuine intentions to encourage all sides to attend the conference for dialogue and democracy. Jalili: National Dialogue Only Way to Solve Crisis in Syria Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili said that the national dialogue and the democracy path are the only way to solve the crisis in Syria. The remarks came during his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection Dr. Qadri Jamil and Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Dr. Ali Haidar. Jalili added that the national dialogue conference held in Tehran is a practical step in confronting violence in Syria, adding that the governments which don't support this tendency, in fact they support violence and renounce democracy. Jalili stressed that the Syrian leadership and people are paying the price for supporting the Palestinian Resistance, condemning the silence of the U.S. and its allies towards the crimes and massacres committed by the Israeli occupation in Gaza. For their parts, Jamil and Haidar expressed appreciation for Iran's initiative in hosting the conference, stressing that the political solution is the only solution for the crisis in Syria. They pointed out that Syria is facing a conspiracy because of Damascus' resistant role in the region, adding that Syria will overcome the crisis because of the will of its people. They added that the U.S. doesn't seek democracy in Syria or in the region, highlighting that all efforts should be exerted to put an end to violence and to hold a comprehensive dialogue aiming at serving the interests of the Syrian people. Lavrov: Decisions Should Not Be Taken on Behalf of Syrians, Pressure Should Done on All to Go to Dialogue Table Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that Russia and the USA have not reached a mutual agreement and track about the crisis in Syria, reiterating his country's adherence to what has been agreed upon in the meeting of the international work group about Syria in Geneva. Russia Today Channel quoted Lavrov's statements to the journalists after his meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Hilary Clinton, in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, " We adhere to Geneva Statement, which calls for forming a transitional administrative system on the basis of an agreement between the authorities and the opposition, yet the opposition should be unified in order to achieve that based on the Statement." The Russian Foreign Minister clarified that Doha coalition is an alliance whose objectives contradict what has been agreed on in Geneva Statement, saying " the document adopted in Doha says that the main goal of the opposition is toppling the regime and substantially liquidating all state institutions … we have witnessed all that in Iraq and we remind that the Iraqi people paid the high price of what had happened." He added, " I asked Clinton about how the US administration sees the possibility of heading forward regarding the situation in Syria within these circumstances, yet I did not hear an ultimate answer; she stressed that Geneva Statement is an issue of interest by the USA." He expressed conviction that this issue will not bring anything as long as there are "rigid warnings and specified deadlines." Lavrov highlighted the importance of not taking decision on behalf of the Syrian people, saying, " decisions should not be taken on behalf of the Syrian people, but rather pressure should be done on all parties to go to the dialogue table to find a solution to the crisis." Bogdanov: Russia Continues Work with Syrian Opposition to Reach Comprehensive Ceasefire, Start Political Process through Dialogue Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East Affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister, Michael Bogdanov, said Russia continues active work with all sides of the Syrian opposition, with no exception. In a statement on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry added that Bogdanov met in Turkey on Monday representatives of the Syrian opposition abroad and discussed with them means of possible compromise to the crisis in the country to stop the bloodshed and solve the critical humanitarian issues of the inhabitants. The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the participants in the meeting stressed that the phased settlement in Syria should provide strict and practical guarantees that ensure the rights and interests of all the Syrians, including the equal participation in the political and economic process in the country. The Ministry pointed out that commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity were confirmed in the meeting.