Turkey reassures NATO – S-400 isn’t a threat to the alliance’s security
ANKARA, BM, ($1=8.67 liras) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed his country’s position that Russia’s air defense systems acquired from Ankara are not a threat to the North Atlantic Alliance. However, according to Cavusoglu, the United States and Turkey must engage in a constructive dialogue to resolve them, including Russian S-400 air defense systems. “Ankara will act on this issue from the standpoint of realism and based on a constructive dialogue,” he said.
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Cavusoglu also spoke of the incident between a Turkish warship that targeted the French frigate Courbet, last year. According to the Turkish Foreign Minister, Turkey has not carried out hostile actions against the frigate. The French claim that Courbet was targeted with a radar missile guidance system during NATO’s involvement in Operation Sea Guardian.
In the inauguration of Joe Biden’s new administration, Turkey and the United States are trying to resolve the “problem” between the two countries. Ankara sees no problem because, according to Turkish MP Murat Baibatur, the US position in March this year was incorrect and disrespectful, using the language of threats against a NATO member. Baibatur then said Ankara did not need permission from anyone and would most likely buy a second batch of Russian air defense systems.
In the same month, US Ambassador to Turkey David Sutherfield said that the only chance for Ankara and Washington to improve relations was if Turkey abandoned Russian anti-aircraft systems.
A light in the tunnel between deteriorating bilateral relations emerged in early May when Ankara received a letter from Washington launching a dialogue to resolve the latest F-35 fighter jets, which Turkey never received because of the Russian system.
But later that month, Washington showed that a letter was just a step for good wishes but not a signal that the White House would back down. The United States has refused to issue an export license for engines powered by Turkey’s new T129 Atak helicopters. This White House action currently blocks the sale of 30 helicopters to Pakistan for a total of $ 1.5 billion.
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