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Turkey Defiant as US Threatens Ankara over Russian S-400 Missiles

ANKARA, Turkey – US Vice President Mike Pence warned Turkey on Wednesday that it would risk its NATO membership, if it planned to buy back a Russian air defense system despite widespread international opposition, Al -Jazeera reported on Wednesday.
Pence’s growing rhetoric came after Turkey insisted on reaching an agreement with Russia on Wednesday, signaling an apparent stalemate between the two NATO allies.
Speaking at NATO’s 70th anniversary in Brussels, Pence said Turkey could be expelled from the F-35 Joint Fighter Plan (JSF), which could paralyze Turkish manufactured parts for the plane and he mentioned the possibility of much broader repercussions.
“Turkey has to choose,” said Pence. “Does She want to remain an essential partner in the most successful military alliance in world history, or does she want to risk the security of this partnership by taking reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?”
Turkish Vice President Fuad Oktay responded on Twitter stating that “the United States must choose” as to their willingness to remain allies in Ankara. He spoke of the controversial relationship between US support and Kurdish forces in Syria, accusing Washington of “uniting with terrorists”.
The United States must choose. Does she want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine the defense of his NATO ally against his enemies?
Other US officials have not threatened Turkey’s underlying relations with the United States or NATO over the purchase of the S-400, but calls for more and more pressure have been launched. early action to try to end the agreement, including possible sanctions against Ankara.
The Turkish Foreign Minister, however, appeared insensitive to US threats, saying that acquiring the Russian S-400 system “is an established fact, and we will not withdraw from it.”
The Pentagon said it expects to resolve its dispute with Turkey over S-400
The United States offered to sell the US-made Patriot missile defense system to Turkey, but Mevlut Cavusoglu said it could not be delivered on time.
“We could not get it before 10 years,” Cavusoglu said at the Atlantic Council Wednesday morning. “That’s why we had to buy from Russia.
“And we also tried to buy from other allies, it did not work, so it’s an urgent need for Turkey – I mean, we urgently need air defense systems in Turkey.”
Cavusoglu also met Wednesday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and leaders of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, whose Democratic President and Republican Party member said they “clearly explained our bipartisan opposition “to the Turkish project of acquisition of the Russian missile system.
Republican congressional members Eliot Engel and Michael McCaul said they warned Cavusoglu that strengthening ties with Moscow “would result in sanctions and Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 program.”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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