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Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright criticized Turkey’s lack of press freedom and its growing closeness to China, as she addressed a major foreign policy conference in Istanbul.

“It’s no secret the U.S. is deeply concerned about press freedoms in Turkey and that a country we view as a vital NATO ally has even considered purchasing missile defenses from China,” Mrs. Albright, who served in the Clinton administration, told the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit last week.

Turkey is negotiating the purchase of a missile-defense system from a Chinese company under U.S. sanctions for selling weapons to Iran.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party is planning to hold a Sunday evening reception to inaugurate an office in Washington. Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu is expected to attend.

Embassy Row is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. James Morrison can be reached at or @EmbassyRow.