Turkey has until tomorrow to decide about Patriots: US official

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AFP PHOTOS

An unnamed US official has claimed Washington expects Turkey to provide an unofficial response to its offer to purchase a Raytheon Patriot missile defense system by Friday, the Diken news website reported.

The offer was submitted by a US delegation that visited Turkey at the beginning of January.

The two NATO allies have been in disagreement over concerns raised by the US as well as other NATO members regarding Turkey’s decision in December 2017 to buy a Russian-made S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missile defense system.

Volkan Bozkır, the chairman of Turkey’s parliamentary commission on foreign affairs who is chairing a parliamentary delegation on a visit to the US, reiterated that the agreement with Russia has been signed and a large part of the payment has been made.

Turkey will “remain committed” to the agreement, Bozkır told a group of reporters after talks with members of the US Congress.

Previous reports cited US officials claiming that Turkey’s purchase of S-400s would end the process to acquire Patriots.

On Tuesday US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison warned Turkey not to go ahead with the S-400 deal.

“The whole alliance is concerned about this, and we hope that Turkey will make the right decision and look for another system,” Hutchison said.

US and NATO officials have been insisting that the Russian-made system cannot be integrated into NATO’s air and missile defense systems.

Bozkır said work is underway to ensure the first delivery of S-400s by November.

The US offer for the Patriots is officially valid until the end of March, and a new offer would have to be drafted if this deadline is passed.

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