Turkish finance minister claims ‘constructive conversation’ with Trump on S-400s

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PHOTO: Albayrak's Twitter account

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak spoke with US President Donald Trump on Monday and said Trump “listened in a very reasonable way” regarding Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian air defense missile system, Turkish media reported, according to Reuters. 

Ankara’s plan to buy the S-400 system has fueled tensions between the NATO allies, and Washington has said Ankara could face sanctions over the issue. Turkey’s defense minister on Monday called for the issue to be resolved through dialogue.

Albayrak, who is Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, said he met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, on Monday. 

“During our meetings, where we discussed steps to increase our cooperation, we were received by US President Donald Trump. We passed on the greetings and messages of our president,” Albayrak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

“He listened in a very reasonable way with a positive understanding of the process regarding Turkey’s need for the S-400s,” broadcaster CNN Turk cited Albayrak as telling reporters. “There was a very positive, constructive conversation.”

Albayrak was also quoted as saying there were discussions at the meetings on increasing bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey to $75 billion annually from $20 billion currently.

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