Osaka: Turkey’s purchase of a major Russian missile defence system is a problem, US President Donald Trump told his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan Saturday.
Washington has made clear – it opposes the purchase of the Russian S-400 system. If by July 31 Turkey does not give up on the S-400 system, Ankara would be blocked from purchasing F-35 fighter jets and Turkish pilots currently training in the US would be expelled.
“It’s a problem, there’s no question about it. It’s not good,” Trump said.
But Trump also added that “Turkey has been a friend of ours… We’re a big trading partner. We’re going to be much bigger.”
The purchase has raised eyebrows among Turkey’s NATO allies and provoked anger in Washington, which expected Ankara to opt for the American Patriot Air Defence System instead.
However Turkey has remained committed to the purchase, with Erdogan saying earlier this month, “We have completed the business. God willing, the system will be delivered to our country next month.”
Meeting President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said the deal with Russia was of prime importance to Turkey, showing no signs of backtracking on the deal.