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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Deployment of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Forces to Turkey


NATO decided today, at a meeting of its Defense Planning Committee, to deploy the air component of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force to Turkey. Turkey asked the alliance for this help in order to deter the threat posed by Iraq and demonstrate NATO's solidarity with Turkey in this crisis. The NATO unit that will go to Turkey includes squadrons of aircraft from Germany, Italy, and Belgium. This alliance move is significant in three respects: First, the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force has never before been deployed in a crisis to defend an ally. Second, the decision demonstrates the alliance's support for the coalition effort and Turkey's part in it against Saddam Hussein. Third, the deployment confirms the importance and effectiveness of the alliance in the post-cold-war era.

Note: This statement referred to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

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