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Turkey is taking into account NATO concerns over S-400 | USA News



Turkey is taking into account "NATO concerns over its Russian missile deal, the country's foreign minister said in more conciliatory remarks on purchase of smoking tensions between Washington and Ankara.

The two NATO allies have argued for months over Turkey's order for the advanced S-400 missile defense batteries, which Washington says are incompatible with the Western alliance's defense network and would pose a threat to US F-35 stealth fighter jets which Turkey also plans to buy.

" account NATO's concerns It is not right to say Turkey is not considering them, "Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu customs a press conference in Ankara on Friday.

His remarks followed a visit by Turkey's defense minister to Washington and a meeting between US President Donald Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law at the White House, where they discussed the S-400 deal, local media reported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several prominent US senators have warned Turkey that it would face penalties for buying the S-400s under legislation which calls for sanctions against countries procuring military equipment from Russia. member it poses no threat to the US and the sanctions should not apply.

Resolving the dispute could allow the two governments to turn the corner on years of tense relations. The stakes are higher for Turkey, which is mired in recession after a separate US diplomatic dispute last year kicked off a currency crisis that has echoed in recent weeks as it may have again frayed. [2] 2 months before the first batch of S-400s could arrive in Turkey, a team or senior Turkish ministers visited Washington this week for talks aimed at easing the crisis, culminating in an unexpected office meeting with the president.

Few details of the White House meeting have emerged, but Turkish media quoted Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of President Tayyip Erdogan, as saying Trump had a "positive understanding … regarding Turkey's needs for the S-400s".

Sanction threat

Even minor US sanctions could prompt another sharp sell-off in the Turkish lira that can subdue the recession in the Middle East's largest economy. After 30 percent of its value last year, the currency is down another 1

0 percent and markets remain on the edge.

Buying military equipment from Russia leaves , or CAATSA

To show any CAATSA sanctions imposed by Congress, Trump by law would have to show that the S-400 purchase was not a "significant transaction", and that it would not endorse the integrity of NATO or adversely affect US military operations

He would also need to show in a letter to congressional committees that the deal would not lead to a "significant negative impact" on US-Turkish cooperation and that Turkey is taking, or will take, steps over a specific period to reduce its Russian-made defense equipment and weapons.

Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said he had heard Trump pledge in a phone call with the Turkish president two months ago that he would work to find a resolution to the problem. Other officials have also portrayed the US president as sympathetic.

The talks were "more than expected" and the Americans expressed "so much as they did in public, a second senior Turkish official customs Reuters.

Trump has not weighed in on Turkey in recent weeks. Even if Turkey did have its support, however, that common ground may prove to be elusive. a US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whose Ankara blames for a failed 2016 military coup.


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