Unic Press UK: Turkey has reacted to being struck off the United States F-35 fighter jet programme.
In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said:
“It is unfair to remove Turkey, one of the main partners in the F-35 program. Being irresponsive to our proposal to form a working group which will also include NATO on this basis is a clear indication that the U.S. is biased and lacks the will to resolve the matter in good faith,” the Anadolu news agency reports.
It was on Wednesday that the United States removed Turkey from participating in the F-35 fighter jet programme over Ankara’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile defense system. In a statement Wednesday, the U.S. Press Secretary reads:
“Unfortunately, Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible. The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities. The United States has been actively working with Turkey to provide air defense solutions to meet its legitimate air defense needs, and this Administration has made multiple offers to move Turkey to the front of the line to receive the U.S. PATRIOT air defense system. Turkey has been a longstanding and trusted partner and NATO Ally for over 65 years, but accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all NATO Allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems. This will have detrimental impacts on Turkish interoperability with the Alliance.
Turkey insists that installing the S-400 missile defense system in its territory poses no threat to NATO. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said:
- “The S-400 systems pose no threat to NATO. There is no need to create tensions over this matter, which has been closed.”