* Turkey's NATO allies concerned about potential deal with
* Russian bid revised, but price remains much higher
(Adds Chinese foreign ministry comment)
By Orhan Coskun
ANKARA, May 7 The Chinese firm which won a
provisional $3.4 billion bid to build a missile defence system
for Turkey has not yet met all the conditions of the tender and
Ankara may consider alternative offers, officials said.
A Russian bid has been revised but remains far higher than
other offers, Turkish officials told Reuters late on Tuesday on
condition of anonymity.
Awarding the tender to Russia would do little to ally
concerns voiced by Turkey's Western allies when Ankara said in
September it had chosen China's FD-2000 missile defence system.
It was chosen over rival offers from U.S. manufacturer
Raytheon Co and Eurosam, which is owned by
Franco-Italian missile maker MBDA and France's Thales.
China had offered the most competitive terms and would allow
co-production in Turkey, officials said at the time.
"The talks with China are continuing but an agreement has
not yet been reached as the tender conditions have not been
completely fulfilled," one official close to the matter said,
without elaborating on what those conditions were.
China's foreign ministry, in a faxed statement to Reuters,
said that the deal was "normal military trade cooperation".
"On principle, we hope that any normal commercial
cooperation is not politicised," it said.
At the end of April a senior Turkish defence official said
Ankara had extended the Eurosam and Raytheon bids by a further
two months as they were due to expire.
A deal would mark a breakthrough for China in its bid to
become an exporter of advanced weapons.
But Turkish officials have long said it was not a foregone
conclusion that Ankara would end up signing the deal with China
Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC).
U.S. and NATO officials are unhappy with Turkey's choice of
CPMIEC, which is under U.S. sanctions for selling items to Iran,
Syria and North Korea that are banned under U.S. laws designed
to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Reuters was unable to locate contact details for CPMIEC in
(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Additional reporting by Ben
Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley and Daren
Butler; Editing by Jason Neely and Simon Cameron-Moore)