Erdogan explained Turkey’s position on S-400 to Biden

BRUSSELS, BM, ($1= 8.56 lira) – The position of the Turkish side on the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems acquired from Russia has remained unchanged, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference following talks with US President Joe Biden in Brussels.

“Of course, it is impossible that the S-400 issue was not on our agenda [in negotiations with Biden]. Concerning the S-400, I expressed the same opinion that we held earlier. I also reported on the steps that we can jointly take about the defense industry,” TASS quotes the Turkish leader.

In his opinion, it is necessary to actively use the dialogue between Ankara and Washington, there are no unsolvable problems between the countries. “We held constructive and thorough negotiations. We agreed to actively use channels for dialogue. I think we have no unsolvable problems with the United States,” he said.

Erdogan also noted that he saw from Biden the same “determination to develop bilateral relations” on a reciprocal basis, as Turkey did. The Turkish President stressed that the importance and responsibility of NATO have increased, and the members of the alliance should strengthen it.

“Today [at the NATO summit in Brussels] we made decisions that began the process of updating the alliance’s strategy by modern conditions,” he said.

Earlier, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense systems does not meet Turkey’s obligations as a NATO member.

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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