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Turkey insists that US sanctions will not affect helicopter deal with Pakistan

December 16, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Head of Turkish Defense Industry Ismail Demir in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 November 2020 [Raşid Necati Aslım/Anadolu Agency]

The head of Turkey’s Defence Industries Presidency said on Tuesday that any US sanctions against Ankara would not affect the country’s existing projects, including a helicopter deal with Pakistan, Anadolu Agency has reported.

Ismail Demir said that despite new US sanctions, the defence industry would continue to move forward. “We do not expect this to affect our relationships too much,” he told reporters after speaking to parliament.

The US imposed sanctions on Turkey on Monday over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system. The sanctions were imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), and target Demir and three other officials. They could also trigger sanctions from the EU, explained Demir.

Although he insisted that the US measures should not affect the T70 helicopter deal, he added that there will probably be an impact on the Pakistan Atak helicopter and Hurjet aircraft projects, which have US-made parts in them. In 2018, Turkey and Pakistan signed a deal for the sale of 30 T129 ATAK helicopters, the biggest single export agreement in the history of the Turkish defence industry.

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