Trump praises Erdogan, warns on Russian S-400 purchase
Earlier, Ankara ignored the threat of US sanctions and received the first deliveries of Russian arms
US President Donald Trump called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to abandon the acquisition of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, calling the purchase “a very serious problem”.
At the same time, he expressed the hope that the two NATO allies will be able to resolve this dispute..
After meeting at the White House to discuss the crisis in bilateral relations, Trump said that he is a “big fan” of the Turkish leader and that they had a “wonderful and productive” discussion.
However, the leaders of the two countries were unable to specifically explain how they will overcome the growing differences on numerous issues, such as policy towards Syria and Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-missile systems..
“The purchase by Turkey of modern Russian military equipment, for example, the S-400 complexes, creates very serious problems for us, and we talk about this constantly,” Trump said at a joint press conference. “We talked about it today and will talk about it in the future in the hope that we will be able to resolve this situation”.
Minutes after the press conference, the White House issued a statement with tougher wording.
“To make progress on other fronts, it is imperative that we resolve issues related to the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, strengthening our partnership in the field of defense,” the statement said..
Turkey and the United States have significant disagreements over Ankara’s purchase of S-400 systems, which the United States claims are incompatible with NATO defenses and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters..
Turkey ignored threats of US sanctions and received first S-400 shipments in July.
To punish Turkey for this purchase, the United States banned the sale of F-35 fighters to Turkey and excluded the country from the multinational program for the production of these aircraft..
“We have asked the [US] Secretary of State and [Turkey’s] Foreign Minister, as well as our national security advisers, to immediately address the S-400 issue,” Trump said..
Erdogan noted that Ankara and Washington can overcome early disagreements over the S-400 and F-35 only through dialogue.
“We agreed to open a new page in our relationship,” he said..
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