Germany: NATO to send surveillance planes to Turkey

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BERLIN (AP) — German officials say NATO plans to deploy AWACS surveillance planes to Turkey as part of a package of reassurance measures recently agreed by the alliance.

Defense Ministry spokesman Boris Nannt stressed Monday that the deployment will be a "purely defensive measure" and said military planning is currently underway. Officials didn't give details on how many planes or crew will be deployed, or when, to the Turkish city of Konya.

On Dec. 18, after tensions flared between Turkey and Russia, the U.S and other NATO allies decided on a package of assurance measures for NATO member Turkey in view of the volatile situation in the region. Alongside increased AWACS presence, the package also includes an increased naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean.

Germany contributes about a third of AWACS crews.

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