Updated: 22-Apr-2003 NATO Press Releases

(2003) 040

16 April 2003

Conclusion of Operation Display Deterrence and Article 4 security consultations

This morning, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) agreed to conclude its formal consultations on Turkey's security under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The decision was taken on the basis of NATO military and other assessments and advice, and Turkish views. It brings to an end the measures the NAC initiated to address the civil emergency and humanitarian aspects of NATO's support to Turkey.

On the basis of these assessments and advice as well as Turkish views, NATO's Defence Planning Committee (DPC) decided today that Operation Display Deterrence, NATO's defensive deployments to southeast Turkey, had met its objectives. The DPC therefore agreed to conclude the operation through a gradual redeployment of NATO forces from Turkey.

On behalf of the Defence Planning Committee, the Secretary General expressed gratitude to all those troops whom participated in Operation Display Deterrence.

The Secretary General also welcomed the comments of Turkey's Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Üzümcü: "I convey once again the most sincere gratitude of the Turkish people and Government for the Alliance solidarity shown in reinforcing the defence of my country in response to the latest crisis in Iraq. We are convinced that, through such an active and collective display of deterrence, NATO has not only extended a much-appreciated helping hand to one of its members in her hour of need, but also proven, once again, its credibility and relevance as the cornerstone of collective security in the Euro-Atlantic area".

NATO's measures were initiated in the context of Alliance commitments under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which calls for consultations whenever the security of any ally is threatened. NATO's military deployments consisted of AWACS surveillance aircraft and crews, theatre missile defences and chemical and biological defence equipment. Operation Display Deterrence played an important part in maintaining stability and demonstrating Alliance solidarity at a volatile time.

Redeployment of NATO forces will begin shortly, in close coordination with Turkish authorities. The NATO military authorities have assessed that, as the probability increases that Iraq can no longer generate the military capability to threaten the security of Turkey, and as coalition forces operating in northern Iraq strengthen their hold on territory and military installations, a phased withdrawal of NATO forces committed to the defence of Turkey is militarily appropriate.

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