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Trump: S400-F35 tension Obama's fault, not Turkey's

June 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets with US President Donald Trump (R) on the sidelines of the second day of the G20 Summit at INTEX Osaka Exhibition Center in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 29 2019 [Turkish Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Handout – Anadolu Agency]

US President Donald Trump on Saturday gave strong messages on a wide array of global issues in his closing speech at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Anadolu reports.

In the Q&A session of his speech, in response to a question about the S400-F35 tension between the US and Turkey, Trump said he puts America first in all matters but cannot turn a blind eye to Turkey’s unfair treatment by former US administration, referring to Barack Obama’s handling of Turkey’s request to purchase U.S. defense systems.

Despite their longstanding strategic alliance as members of NATO, since 2017 Turkey and the US have been at odds over Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400, a Russian-made missile defense system, and U.S. threats to break its contract to sell Turkey F-35 jets over the dispute.To defend itself, Turkey first sought to purchase U.S.-made Patriot missiles, but even as the U.S. was sending weapons and ammunition to Turkey’s avowed enemies, the terror group YPG/PYD in northern Syria, Washington chose to ignore its ally’s needs and national interests and rebuffed Turkey’s overtures.

Despite growing calls from the US for Turkey to abandon its deal with Russia, Turkish officials describe their transaction with Russia as a “done deal.”

Obama administration said no, no, no to Turkey when they wanted to purchase Patriots and they [Turkey] bought S400,

Trump said and called Obama administration’s reluctance and failure to sell Patriots to Turkey a ‘mess’.

Blaming the Obama administration for the ongoing S400-F35 tension between the two countries, Trump said it is not Turkey’s or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s fault.

“Erdogan is a tough guy but I get along with him,” Trump said, thanking the Turkish president for freeing American Pastor Andrew Brunson who was detained in a Turkish jail over his alleged involvement in a 2016 coup against the Turkish government.

He was released in October, a move hailed by the US administration.

Following the meeting of the two leaders in Osaka, a statement from the White House said Trump voiced concern over Turkey’s “potential purchase” of Russian S-400 during the US-Turkey meeting in the sidelines of G20 summit in Japan.

“The President [Donald Trump] expressed concern about Turkey’s potential purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, and encouraged Turkey to work with the United States on defense cooperation in a way that strengthens the NATO alliance,” the White House said.

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