Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan said that he told US during his bilateral talks with US President Donald Trump at Washington last week that Turkey will not stop its deployment of the Russian S-400 air missiles system. Turkey procured the Russian missiles this year irrespective of the differences it faced from its NATO allies over the deal.
International media reported that there have been discrepancies between Ankara and Washington over the purchase of the S-400 Russian missiles which seem incompatible with the NATO defences, at the same time are a serious concern to US’s F-35 stealth fighter jets. Erdogan told the Parliament on November 18 that majority of the issues between Turkey and US are minor complications.
The United States, on the other hand, cancelled Turkey from its Jet programme where the US was the buyer and the manufacturer, furthermore the US warned Turkey of possible sanctions on the deal. Last week the two leaders engaged in a conversation at the White House to overcome the minor differences on various issues like S-400s, Syria policy etc. During the talks, Erdogan told Trump that they would not give up the S-400 missiles after Trump asked him to abandon the air-defence system. Erdogan also said in the parliament that, both the nations agreed to look for solutions to the S-400 issue
After the meeting, Trump said that Turkey’s deal with Russia poses ‘some very serious challenges’ for the United States. He asked the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to resolve the matter. The Russian defence system S-400 was purchased by Turkey this year. It has been specially designed to shoot the US and allied aircraft which are of greater ranges and altitudes as compared to the old missiles.
During Turkey’s offensive against Syrian Kurds, Trump warned Erdogan of sending thousands of troops and win militarily or hit them with financial sanctions.
“President Trump communicated to him very clearly that the United States of American wants Turkey to stop the invasion, implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria to bring an end to the violence,” said Vice President Mike Pence.
All of this led to an agreement with Turkey for a five-day ceasefire but Erdogan kept threatening of yet another offensive. “If America does not keep its promises, our offensive will continue from where it left off, with a much greater determination,'' Erdogan said.
“There is no place for them (Kurdish fighters) in Syria’s future. We hope that with Russia’s cooperation, we will rid the region of separatist terror, he added.