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29 Jun, 2019 04:32

US looking into ‘different solutions’ to Turkey’s S-400/F-35 ‘problem’– Trump after Erdogan meeting

US looking into ‘different solutions’ to Turkey’s S-400/F-35 ‘problem’– Trump after Erdogan meeting

The US is exploring various options to resolve the ongoing dispute with Ankara over its decision to purchase Russian S-400 systems, Donald Trump told his Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka.

“We are looking at different solutions,” Trump told the press, admitting that the S-400 deal is a “problem” for the US.

Trump noted that Turkey was barred from purchasing Patriot systems during the Obama administration, but stressed that his administration has a difference stance on the matter.

“[Erdogan] was prohibited from buying [Patriot systems] until he bought something else. And then as soon as he buys something else, everyone says ‘okay, you can buy.’ You can’t do business that way. Turkey has been a friend of ours…You have to treat people fairly. You understand that? You have to treat people fairly,” the US president said.

To foster better ties with Ankara, Trump promised to visit Turkey “soon,” but did not specify any dates.

Ankara has repeatedly stated that it will stick with the S-400 deal, even if it means forfeiting its participation in Washington’s F-35 program.

The US has demanded that its NATO ally abandon the Russian deal and purchase American-made weapons instead, such as the Patriot air defense system, or face sanctions. The US has already canceled training for Turkish pilots learning to fly American F-35 fighter jets and threatened to kick Turkey out of the multi-billion-dollar fighter jet program altogether.

Turkey, however, has stood defiant against US pressure and vowed to retaliate against any sanctions. Russian S-400s are due to arrive in Turkey later this summer.

Also on rt.com ‘No delays’: Putin, Erdogan reaffirm S-400 deal, talk trade & bilateral ties at G20 sidelines

Trump’s meeting with Erdogan followed the Turkish leader’s discussions with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. During that meeting, Erdogan reiterated his commitment to the purchase of Russian missile defense systems, noting that deliveries of the S-400 are on schedule.

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