WASHINGTON — Turkey’s cabinet, ending a tense deadlock Monday, voted to allow the deployment of U.S. combat troops in advance of a possible war with Iraq.
This story first appeared in the February 26, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
But agreement on the proposed multibillion economic aid package for Turkey’s help in a potential war with Iraq had not been finalized at press time. Turkey’s parliament is expected to vote on the contentious agreement this week and its passage is still uncertain.
The U.S. and Turkey have been wrangling for weeks over the proposed aid package, totaling a reported $5 billion in aid and $10 billion in loans, for Turkey, which is aimed at cushioning the impact of war in the region. The delay has stranded U.S. ships loaded with military equipment off the coast of Turkey and disrupted Washington’s plans to open a northern front against Iraq.
Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis told CNN-Turk TV on Sunday that textile and apparel relief in the form of quota increases were among the outstanding issues. The U.S. agreed to double Turkey’s apparel and textile quotas over three years in 1991 for its help in enforcing the economic embargo against Iraq during the Gulf War.