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Turkey Approves U.S. Use of Bases

December 3, 2002

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Turkey’s foreign minister said Tuesday that his country would allow the United States to use military bases here if the United Nations approves military action against neighboring Iraq.

Yasar Yakis spoke after meeting with U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who was in Turkey to lobby for support of an operation against Iraq.

Yakis said that Turkey was against a war, but ``if it comes to that, then of course, we will cooperate with the United States because it’s a big ally and we have excellent relations with the United States.″

When asked to define cooperation, Yakis said, ``the opening of air space, first of all, and the utilization of facilities in Turkey.″

Turkey has repeatedly said that any action in Iraq must have U.N. approval.

Yakis said that another U.N. resolution would be needed if there is to be a war in Iraq.

``The present resolution ... does not allow the automatic resorting to armed intervention,″ Yakis said.

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