Washington — US officials hoped for progress in strengthening NATO's missile defenses and its divided Greek-Turkish flank at the alliance's regular foreign ministers' meeting in Ankara June 25-26, Monitor correspondent John K. Cooley reports.
US Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, NATO Secretary-General Joseph M. A. H. Luns, and Premier Suleyman Demirel -- whose shaky government of Turkey,which has been racked by terrorism, was threatened by a possible no-confidence vote in parliament -- called for NATO "cohesion" in the face of Soviet moves to divide the alliance over its reported troop pullouts from Afghanistan.
France, which does not belong to NATO's military wing, was apparently showing greater interest than other alliance members in the publicized Soviet pullout from Afghanistan.
Soviet propaganda, analysts here noted, has also concentrated (1) on showing approval of Belgian and Dutch delays and reservations in accepting the 527 Pershing II and cruise missiles which NATO decided last December to deploy and ( 2) on warning Britain, after it published several locations for US cruise missile bases on its territory, against such deployment.
Secretary Muskie said Tuesday he found a wish on both the Greek and the Turkish sides to overcome obstacles to Greece's return to the integrated NATO command structure it quit when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974.
Turkey has so far insisted that disputed command arrangements for their Aegean Sea boundaries and airspace be settled first.