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Turkey reiterates rejection of any dictation to cancel the S-400 deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a meeting with UN Syria envoy and Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran, on December 18, 2018 at the United Nations Offices in Geneva. (Photo by DENIS BALIBOUSE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DENIS BALIBOUSE/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, reiterated on Thursday his country’s rejection of any kind of dictation coming from any party to cancel the purchase of the S-400 air defence missile system from Russia, in exchange for other defence systems.

Cavusoglu told the Turkish TV channel NTV: “No one has the right to talk about the S-400 deal, and we will not accept any dictations to cancel it and buy similar defence systems,” Anadolu Agency reported.

Washington is exerting tremendous pressures on Ankara to prevent it from buying the S-400 defence missile system, amounting to a threat of imposing sanctions on the Turkish authorities in case they do not cancel the arms deal with Russia. The US claims that this defence missile system is not compatible with other air defence systems employed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), noting that both countries are NATO state members and should comply with the organisation’s provisions.

Read: Syrians in Turkey get chance to return to school

However, observers confirm that the real reason behind such strong objection to the Turkish-Russian deal is the competition for arms sales between the United States and Russia. The US has employed the same harassment strategy against other countries outside the NATO to prevent them from purchasing the Russian official defence missile system.

On the other hand, Turkey has stressed that it is taking independent steps to ensure the security of its territories, confirming that it will deploy the S-400 air defence missile system on Turkish lands starting from next October.

The S-400 missile system is anti-early warning aircraft, aircraft jammers and reconnaissance aircraft, as well as medium-range ballistic missiles. Thus, if the deal is completed, Turkey will be the first NATO country to have such air defence weaponry.

Cavusoglu also commented that “the YPG/PKK terrorist organisation is trying to use everyone till this very moment,” noting that Al-Assad’s regime is aware of the YPG’s real intentions.

He added: “If the agreed upon roadmap were properly applied in Manbij, the region would have been administered by locals.”

Regarding the Turkish relations with the United States and the cooperation between Ankara and Washington regarding the Syrian file, Cavusoglu indicated that “there are ongoing efforts in Washington to cancel the US withdrawal plan from Syria.”

He pointed out that the security officials in Washington are attempting to put pressure on Donald Trump to reverse his decision in this regard.

The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed that “the military operations of the Turkish army against the YPG/ PKK organisation in Syria is not linked to the withdrawal of US forces… Terrorists should not be allowed to take advantage of the security gap following the potential US withdrawal. ”

He asserted that Turkey had informed the United States of its willingness to provide all forms of logistical support during the withdrawal process from Syria, adding that Ankara can fight ISIS alone.

Cavusoglu affirmed that Trump pledged to visit Turkey, adding that he intends to make a telephone conversation today with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.


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