Turkey warns US to avoid damaging steps over Russian S-400s purchase: report

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Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy AFP PHOTOS

Turkey called on the United States on Wednesday to avoid steps harmful to bilateral relations after the US State Department spokeswoman reiterated that Ankara would face “real and negative consequences” for acquiring the Russian S-400 defense system, Reuters reported. 

Turkey’s foreign ministry spokesman said the comments by the State Department’s Morgan Ortagus on Tuesday were not in line with the spirit and content of talks between the presidents of the two countries at the G20 summit last month.

“We invite the U.S. side to avoid taking wrong steps, excluding diplomacy and dialogue, that will harm relations,” spokesman Hami Aksoy said, adding that Ankara had still not received a response to its proposal to set up a working group to look into the impact of the S-400 purchase. 

President Tayyip Erdoğan said after meeting with President Donald Trump in Osaka that the United States did not plan to impose sanctions on Ankara for buying the S-400s, which he said would arrive in the first half of July. Trump said Turkey had not been treated fairly but did not rule out sanctions.

The United States says the S-400s are not compatible with NATO’s defense network and could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy. 

Turkey could face expulsion from the F-35 program and other US sanctions if it goes ahead with the S-400 delivery. Washington has already halted training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.

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