NATO ambassadors have met in Brussels, but failed to resolve a deadlock over military support to Turkey ahead of a possible war in Iraq.
An alliance spokesman (Yves Brodeur) says NATO's decision-making North Atlantic Council met briefly today (Tuesday), agreeing only to renew formal deliberations Wednesday morning. He says alliance officials will continue discussions throughout the night in efforts to resolve the crisis.
Monday, France, Germany and Belgium blocked a U-S request for the alliance to begin planning to help defend Turkey -- the only NATO member that borders Iraq. The three countries said sending NATO military equipment to Turkey is premature while diplomatic efforts continue to try to avert war.
In response, Turkey called for a special meeting under provisions of the NATO treaty requiring discussions if an alliance member feels its security or territory is threatened. Those discussions got under way on Monday. Turkey is expected to be a major staging area for any U-S-led military action against Iraq.
In Washington, U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell urged the NATO allies to acknowledge Turkey's security concerns. He expressed hope the alliance will do what he called the right thin and act on the measures within the next 24 hours.