Czech Foreign Minister expresses support for Turkey in its request for NATO assistance

13-02-2003

The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has expressed support for Turkey in its request for NATO assistance preceding a possible military conflict with Iraq. Speaking at a joint press conference in Paris on Thursday, the Czech foreign minister underscored the fact each NATO member state had the right to ask its allies for help if it felt it was under threat. Mr Svoboda added it was important the request had a positive response, saying it was needed to preserve NATO's "credibility", not only with member states but also with new countries invited to join last year. Mr Svoboda's French counterpart Dominique de Villepin did not comment on the statements. So far, France, Germany, and Belgium, have refused to approve NATO plans to protect Turkey in case war breaks out between the US and Iraq.