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Turkish defense minister makes unannounced visit to Pentagon amid tensions over Russia’s S-400s

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has held unannounced talks with acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan amid tensions over Ankara’s plans to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system and its threat to attack Kurdish fighters in Syria, AFP reported. The two met on Tuesday “as strategic partners,” Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers said after the meeting. “They focused their discussion on interests, rather than positions, and on the importance of US-Turkish cooperation bilaterally and as NATO allies,” Summers said. The spokesperson made no mention of the spat over the US threat to halt a joint F-35 fighter jet program with Turkey if it buys Russia’s S-400 missile defense system.