Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he informed US President Joe Biden that Ankara’s position on Russian-made S-400 air defense systems remains unchanged.
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The two 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.
Despite 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.
According to the media outlet, the Turkish leader also invited Biden to pay a visit to his country, and the US president did not rule out such a visit.
Earlier, Milan Uhrik, who is a member of the delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee and the delegation for relations with the US with the European Union, told Sputnik that the upcoming meeting between Erdogan and Biden, where US President will try to sway Turkish President (on S-400 deal) is unlikely to be successful.