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US, Turkey in consultations to resolve F-35 dispute

A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter seen during an aerial refuelling mission off the coast of Florida, USA [USAF / Public Domain]
A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter seen during an aerial refuelling mission off the coast of Florida, USA [USAF / Public Domain]

The Pentagon is holding consultations with Turkey to resolve the dispute related to Ankara's expulsion from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, State Department spokesman Ned Price said yesterday.

Price said the Biden administration is engaged with Turkey over "an F-35 dispute resolution," but said he would not "prejudge the outcome of" those discussions.

"I don't want to go into private conversations between the Turkish government and this administration so I will leave it at that," he said.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Washington has proposed to give Ankara F-16 planes in return for the $1.4 billion that Ankara had paid to purchase the F-35s.

READ: Turkish-American relations face a new test

"Turkey is an important NATO ally, and we have long-standing and deep bilateral ties," Price said.

The US under former President Donald Trump removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program in 2019 over Ankara's purchase of Russia's advanced S-400 anti-missile defence system, which US officials maintain poses risks to the F-35s, including the possibility that Russia could covertly use the system to obtain classified details on the jet.

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaNewsRussiaTurkeyUS
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