BRUSSELS, (BM) – A meeting between Turkish and U.S. diplomats took place during the NATO meeting. The main topic of talks between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was purchasing S-400 air defense systems from Ankara.
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Again, both countries found no point of contact between the two sides on the subject. The meeting in Brussels ended with a particular fact – the United States is dissatisfied with the Turkish acquisition, Turkey is defending its interests.
Washington continues to view Russia’s S-400 air defense system as a threat to American technology. “It’s no secret that we have differences with Turkey, including over the S-400s. It’s also no secret that Turkey is a long-standing and valued ally, and one that I believe we have a strong interest in keeping anchored to NATO,” the U.S. Secretary of State said at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday.
For its part, Turkey continues to assert the right to choose from whom and what to buy to ensure its Euro-Asian territory. “We have told them once again that Turkey has already bought the S-400s and that the issue is closed,” Cavusoglu said in televised comments, despite U.S. pressure on Ankara to get rid of the system.
However, Mevlut Cavusoglu left the door open for dialogue, mentioning that Ankara would continue to strengthen its air defenses and seek solutions from the United States or another ally in the alliance.
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What else did Cavusoglu and Blinken say to each other?
In addition to the hot topic of Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft systems, Cavusoglu and Blinken discussed Afghanistan. Turkey proposes to host an international meeting and peace talks between the warring parties in Afghanistan. The United States supports such a desire on the part of Ankara.
Peace talks will also affect plans by the United States and coalition forces to withdraw permanently from Afghanistan. For this reason, both countries (the United States and Turkey) believe that such peace talks should take place before the withdrawal deadline, which is on May 1 this year.
A similar meeting in the Balkans will continue with peace efforts between the Taliban and the Afghan government. This peace should provide a “road map” for Afghanistan, Cavusoglu told reporters.
“Turkey should not detain S-400”.
The U.S. State Department officials issued a similar statement. “Blinken urged Turkey not to retain the Russian S-400 air defense system,” it said.
The purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft system has divided and alienated Turkey and the United States over the past nearly two years. Ankara has repeatedly stated that the government’s primary goal is to protect the country.
The United States offered Turkey to buy the American analog Patriot, but the high price and unproven efficiency refused the Turks. This action has led to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program, which continues to have more significant consequences than the economic sanctions imposed on Washington by Ankara.
According to Turkish politicians and military experts, Russia’s S-400 system does not pose a threat to NATO. Ankara has repeatedly called on the United States to set up a working group of experts to verify the Turkish government’s words. Washington rejected all proposals.
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