Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he has informed US President Joe Biden on Monday that Ankara’s position regarding Russian-made S-400 air defense systems remains unchanged.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels.
“We expressed the same thoughts on S-400s to President Biden as we had before, also expressed the same thoughts about F-35s,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anadolu agency.
The decision by Turkey, a NATO member, to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defense systems triggered a crisis in relations between the two allies in 2019, when the first batch, negotiated in 2017, was delivered to the country. Inspite of the US authorities’ repeated demands to abandon the deal and ensuing sanctions, Turkey refused to make concessions and has continued negotiating additional shipments of the Russian weapons.
Relations between Turkey and the US have also deteriorated due to American military support for the Kurdish-dominated People’s Protection Units, and Biden’s recognition of the Armenian genocide.
Erdogan, however, expressed the belief that there is no issue in Turkish-US relations that cannot be resolved.
In addition, Erdogan said that Washington’s financial, diplomatic and logistical support would be vital in case the Turkish forces had to stay in Afghanistan, as NATO allies conduct pullout from the country.