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NATO Remarks on Turkey’s Plans To Purchase Russian Air-Defense Missile Systems

Turkey's relations with Russia have historically been tense, but Moscow and Ankara have established strong economic ties since the end of the Cold War.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on May 6. RFERL

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed concern about the potential consequences of Turkey’s plans to purchase Russian air-defense missile systems.

Stoltenberg was speaking on May 6 during a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, amid a widening rift between Washington and Ankara over Turkey’s deal to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

The United States has demanded that NATO ally Turkey call off its deal with Russia, saying that the S-400 missiles are incompatible with NATO systems and are seen as a threat to U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets.

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Under Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the countries have moved closer in recent years amid severe tension between Russia and the West and strains in Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union. Pixabay

Washington has said it could also withdraw an offer to sell Ankara the U.S. equivalent — the Patriot anti-missile system – and warned that Turkey risks being ejected from the F-35 fighter-jet program.

Turkey is a member of the consortium involved in the production of the jet and a buyer.

In Ankara, Stoltenberg said that every NATO ally makes its own decisions on the kind of military equipment it buys.

“But at same time I am concerned about the potential consequences as the United States has made it clear that they will impose sanctions” if Turkey goes through with the deal, the NATO chief added.

“What is important for NATO is interoperability — that systems can work together,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that his country won’t withdraw from the S-400 deal, which according to Russian media involved four S-400 units for a price of $2.5 billion.

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The United States has demanded that NATO ally Turkey call off its deal with Russia, saying that the S-400 missiles are incompatible with NATO systems and are seen as a threat to U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets. Pixabay

Speaking alongside Stoltenberg on May 6, Erdogan said that he disapproved of attempts to provoke debate on issues like the S-400 that “are within the sovereign rights of our country.”

Turkey’s developing ties “with other countries and regions are not an alternative to each other,” he said, adding that instead they complemented each other.

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Turkey’s relations with Russia have historically been tense, but Moscow and Ankara have established strong economic ties since the end of the Cold War.

Under Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the countries have moved closer in recent years amid severe tension between Russia and the West and strains in Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union. (RFERL)

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Turkey Backs Peaceful Settlement of Libya Crisis

The Turkish and Libyan top diplomats visited Sudan to attend the signing ceremony of a power-sharing deal between rival parties there

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Turkey, Libya, Peaceful
Cavusoglu emphasized the importance of a peaceful settlement of the dispute in Libya, adding that "international community should display a united and principled stance to stop the clashes in Libya," according to a statement. Pixabay

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced his country’s support for a peaceful settlement of the Libya crisis, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Cavusoglu emphasized the importance of a peaceful settlement of the dispute in Libya, adding that “international community should display a united and principled stance to stop the clashes in Libya,” according to a statement on his Twitter after he met with his Libyan counterpart Mohamed Taher Siala in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

Turkey, Libya, Peaceful
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced his country’s support for a peaceful settlement of the Libya crisis, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Pixabay

The Turkish and Libyan top diplomats visited Sudan to attend the signing ceremony of a power-sharing deal between rival parties there.

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During his visit, Cavusoglu will also meet with Sudanese officials and representatives from other countries participating in the signing ceremony. (IANS)