ACCESSION NUMBER:368614 1ILE ID:EUR214 DATE:11/22/94 TITLE:STATE DEPARTMENT SUPPORTS WEAPONS TRANSFERS TO GREECE AND TURKEY (11/22/94) TEXT:*94112207.PFE *EUR214 11/22/94 STATE DEPARTMENT SUPPORTS WEAPONS TRANSFERS TO GREECE AND TURKEY (Text: State Department statement) (300) Washington -- The State Department said in a statement released November 22 that Greece and Turkey are valued allies and friends, and it is in the U.S. strategic interest to assist them in modernizing their forces through weapons transfers. Following is the text of the statement by Christine Shelly, acting spokesman for the Department of State: (Begin text) Some recent press articles advocated that the U.S. government cease arms transfers to Greece and Turkey. The Department of State disagrees with this recommendation. Both Turkey and Greece are valued NATO allies with which we have enjoyed long and productive relationships. Weapons transfers and security assistance help to modernize Greek and Turkish military capabilities to meet NATO standards, insure compatibility with U.S. forces, and support current U.S. security concerns in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey was a major participant in the Gulf War and supports the sanctions against Iraq at considerable economic cost. Operation Provide Comfort, which enforces the no-fly zone and supports relief efforts for the people of Northern Iraq, stages out of Incirlik Air Base in eastern Turkey. Turkey provides the U.S. access to airfields and intelligence and communications facilities vital to regional security. Greece occupies a vital location for the command of eastern Mediterranean Sea lanes and the transit of aircraft from central Europe to the Middle East. During the Gulf War, Greece facilitated the movement of large numbers of troops and material between Germany and Saudi Arabia. Both Greece and Turkey cooperate with the U.S. in the struggle against drug trafficking. In short, both countries remain valued allies and friends, and it remains in our strategic interest to assist them to modernize their forces. (End text) NNNN .