German foreign minister: German NATO envoy must OK Turkish missile request
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday he had told the country's ambassador to NATO to approve Turkey's request for NATO patriot missiles to be stationed near its border to Syria to help defend it from attacks.
Only the United States, the Netherlands and Germany have the appropriate Patriot missile system available.
Speaking in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Westerwelle said: "I've told the German ambassador to accept the request, of course if the necessary conditions are met."
Rejecting the request would be a grave error, he said, with severe consequences for NATO.
Some German opposition lawmakers had voiced reluctance to send German patriot missiles to Turkey, fearing Germany could get drawn into the Syria conflict.
Westerwelle said he believed a Bundestag vote would be necessary on sending missiles from Germany.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; writing by Alexandra Hudson)
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