News 13 june — 15:38

Turkish FM: Pentagon won't force Turkey to abandon S-400

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Turkey will not back down from its decision to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems and rejects any ultimatums on the issue, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday in response to U.S. warnings about the purchase, Daily Sabah reports.

Çavuşoğlu was responding to a question in a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian about a letter in which U.S Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan warned Turkey that it would be pulled out of the F-35 fighter jet program unless Ankara changed course from its plans to install the S-400s.

"The language and content of U.S. Defense Secretary Shanahan's letter are unacceptable, will not make Turkey back down from its decisions," Çavuşoğlu said.

"If there are concerns about S-400's we should establish a working group with the participation of NATO," the minister said, adding that the proposal was approved by U.S. President Donald Trump but rejected by other U.S. institutions.

"Turkey bought S-400, it is going to be delivered and stationed in Turkey," Çavuşoğlu added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday reiterated that Turkey has completed the deal with Russia and that the systems will be delivered in July. He said Ankara would challenge its removal from the F-35 program on every platform.

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