Turkey's Erdogan Expects US F-35 Jets Despite Missile Row
OSAKA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday, Turkey expected US F-35 stealth fighter jets to be delivered as Ankara had paid for them.
"We still expect jet deliveries to go ahead. We have been transferring payments," Erdogan said during a briefing at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
Erdogan again refused on Saturday to row back on the deal with Russia to buy its S-400 missile systems as Ankara expects deliveries to begin shortly.
"The deal to buy S-400s is closed entirely … It is not in Turkey's rules to abandon an agreement like this," he said, adding missile deliveries were "on the brink" of beginning.
Erdogan, who spoke during a briefing at G20 in Japan's Osaka, said that the United States "does not appear" to be mulling sanctions on Turkey over the deal.
"Sanctions between the United States and Turkey, two strategic allies, are unthinkable," the Turkish president added.
Washington gave Ankara an ultimatum to stop the purchase or face penalties. It has argued that Russian missile systems are incompatible with NATO's defences.
US President Donald Trump has defended Erdogan for going to Russia after the previous US administration rejected Turkey's attempts to buy US Patriot missiles.
"He wanted to buy the Patriot… Couldn't buy it. He then went to Russia and he bought the S-400 … He made a deal, he paid them money … Honestly, I'm all for our country but he got treated very unfairly," Trump told reporters.
The United States has threatened to remove Turkey from the F-35 program after it refused to scrap a deal with Russia to buy its missile systems, which Washington says may compromise its aircraft.
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