USA letter 'not in line with spirit of alliance': Turkey

Elias Hubbard
Июня 13, 2019

Akar, cited by the defence ministry in a statement on Wednesday, also said Turkey was preparing a response to the letter and that it would be sent to the U.S. in the coming days.

U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to Akar last week saying Washington will cut short a training program on F-35 fighter jets for Turkish pilots over "safety concerns".

Erdogan's statement follows an earlier remark made by acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan that Ankara was notified about a potential ban on obtaining the F-35 fighter jets it had already purchased if it proceeded with the S-400 deal.

He added that he was set to speak with Shanahan by phone and that they would meet in person at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting at the end of the month.

Shanahan said on June 11 he will discuss Washington's spat with Ankara over its purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defense system with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on June 12.

"We've suspended some of the activities in terms of training. We haven't suspended any of the maintenance activity", the letter said.

"To date, we have fulfilled all of our responsibilities without any delay or interruption toward the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday that the Russian S-400 air defence systems will be delivered to Turkey in July.

US officials argued it would be incompatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge, but Turkey has emphasized that the S-400 would not be integrated into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operability and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

Russian Federation said on Tuesday it plans to deliver its S-400s, which are not compatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems, to Turkey in July, setting the clock ticking on a US threat to hit Ankara with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal.

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