North Atlantic Treaty Organisation celebrates 70th anniversary, despite member tensions

Arturo Kim
April 6, 2019

Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey remain in talks over the delivery date for S-400 parts, originally slated for May. We suggested purchasing the Patriot [systems] from the U.S., but the United States failed to offer us any suitable terms.

Cavusoglu said Turkey turned to Russian Federation as it could not buy US Patriot missiles and quoted President Donald Trump as saying in an unspecified phone call that his predecessor Barack Obama had made a "mistake" not to sell the system to Ankara.

The NATO allies are at odds over issues including USA support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Ankara and Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile system over U.S. objections.

The Trump administration has halted its sale of F-35 fighter jets to ally Turkey until the country agrees to cancel its purchase of an anti-aircraft missile system from Russian Federation, according to reports.

"Because Turkey is not just an F-35 purchaser, but an industrial partner, blocking delivery of these systems represents a major escalation by the United States as it threatens to impose serious costs on both sides", Hunter said. We will get the fourth aircraft very soon, within several weeks. Trump tweeted last December that the United States was withdrawing all of its troops from Syria, but since then he has gradually dialed back that declaration and committed to keeping a residual force in the country.

Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Atlantic Council's "NATO Engages The Alliance at 70" conference, in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

"He stated it was wrong to impose any sanctions against the alliance's member states because we need each other".

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said the planned S-400 buy was concerning and "not the action that one would expect from an ally", while Sen.

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"Turkey must choose", Pence said.

A Pentagon official told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that Turkish pilots will continue to train with F-35 fighter jets in Arizona.

After months of discussions, the Pentagon is still hopeful that Turkey will change course and instead buy the American-made Patriot missile system.

The high turnout for Turkey's municipal elections on Sunday is a lesson in democracy for the whole world, the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated.

In a PBS Newshour interview broadcast on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said Ankara proposed "to form a technical working group and to examine" any U.S. concerns over the S-400s.

"We could all benefit if we could develop joint approaches with the USA", said Wolfgang Ischinger, head of the Munich Security Conference.

During a visit to the air base, Turkey's two F-35s were visible, each with a Turkish flag painted on its tail.

A pair of RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets over the English Channel during Operation Point Blank, which featured aerial capabilities from the British RAF, United States Air Force and French Air Force, November 27, 2018.

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