Turkey, Politics, Americas

Turkish FM denies Pompeo's readout of meeting

Cavusoglu says no mention of unilateral actions of Turkey during meeting with US counterpart

Umar Farooq   | 05.04.2019
Turkish FM denies Pompeo's readout of meeting


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's readout of a meeting he had with his Turkish counterpart was not reflective of the actual language used in the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday.

In a statement provided by the State Department on behalf of the secretary, Pompeo said he warned Cavusoglu about "the potentially devastating consequences of unilateral Turkish military action" in the region.

"With regards to this readout, I was there and we know what we talked, and such language was never used, in Syria particularly they never mentioned such things about the unilateral actions of Turkey," Cavusoglu told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

"We just agreed to continue working together through this task force and also joint working group, and Jim Jeffrey comes to Turkey very often," he added, referring the the U.S. special envoy for Syria.

Cavusoglu also reiterated remarks made the day before, saying that he proposed to have a team to assess the S-400 will not pose a threat to NATO.

"I proposed to have a technical team or a joint working group to make sure this S-400 that we have purchased for our own need, this is a defense system by the way, will not pose any risk or threat to NATO systems including F-35s."

Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.

Cavusoglu contends Turkey urgently needs an air defense system because of the "threat in the neighborhood" and said NATO is not yet capable enough to cover the country's airspace.

Turkey's purchase of the S-400 system has led to significantly strained ties with Washington, which earlier this week suspended delivery of parts and services necessary to Turkey's receipt of the F-35 stealth fighter jet.

In responding to remarks that the S-400 missile system is incompatible with NATO military equipment, Cavusoglu said the system would be for Turkey's own use.

"It doesn’t have to be integrated to the NATO system, and this is not our aim. It is for our own use, this is a defense system," he said.

He also said that Turkey could agree on a price for the U.S. Patriot missile system, but in order for progress to be made congressional approval would be needed to solve the F-35 issue between the countries.

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