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US discussing Chinese defense with Turkey

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October 24, 2013 01:15 PM EST | AP


ISTANBUL (AP) — The U.S. says it has begun consultations with Turkey as Ankara considers a deal for a missile defense system with a Chinese company sanctioned by the U.S.

U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone told reporters in Ankara on Thursday the U.S. has concerns the deal could be problematic for Turkey's integration with NATO air and missile defenses.

The issue has become a source of tension between Turkey and NATO allies, since Turkey announced last month that it had chosen China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. to build an air defense system, surprising U.S. and European firms vying for the bid.

Ricciardone emphasized that Turkey had a right to make a deal, but said the U.S. wants "to make sure that the full facts are taken into due consideration."