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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey vows 'response' if US halts weapons sales

Iran Press TV

Sun May 6, 2018 10:13AM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned that his country will retaliate against the United States if Washington halts the sale of certain weapons to Ankara.

Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk on Sunday that a proposal by US lawmakers to temporarily stop weapons sales – including the sale of F-35 jets – to Turkey was wrong, illogical, and not fitting of the alliance between the two NATO allies.

"Next week I will go on a visit to the United States. It's about the fact that the cancellation of the sale of the F-35 is not acceptable, and if it (the cancellation) happens, then they (the Americans) will receive an appropriate response from Turkey," Cavusoglu said.

Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives on Thursday introduced a resolution aimed at blocking the transfer of 116 Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey and preventing Ankara from receiving intellectual property or technical data required for the maintenance of the warplanes.

The measure was adopted over what the US lawmakers described as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "path of reckless governance and disregard for the rule of law," an apparent reference to a broad crackdown launched in Turkey after an abortive coup in 2016.

But what really angered the US seems to have been Ankara's purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia. Washington had earlier warned that Ankara's purchase of the Russian missile system could have a negative effect on its decision to supply the high-tech, radar-evading F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.

The S-400 is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away. It has previously been sold only to China and India.

Turkey signed the S-400 purchase agreement with Russia – worth about $2.5 billion – last December to boost its defense capabilities.

Relations between Turkey and the US have also been strained over Washington's support for Kurdish groups in Syria, which Ankara considers terrorists.

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