Turkey, Americas

US senator wants to hold off sanctions bill on Turkey

Jim Risch says it is better to hold off sanctions as negotiations over S-400 between US, Turkey are ongoing

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 15.11.2019
US senator wants to hold off sanctions bill on Turkey Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker, flanked by Senator James E. Risch and Senator Ben Cardin, questions Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran in Washington, USA on July 23, 2015.

ANKARA

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch said he is pausing sanctions on Turkey.

"Probably, it's best we don't pass a sanctions bill at this moment," Risch told reporters Thursday in his office, referring to the negotiations between the U.S. and Turkey on procurement of Russian S-400 missile system.

Risch attended Wednesday's meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Oval Office along with some other Republican senators.

He called the meeting "very therapeutic".

A range of topics were discussed, including Ankara's acquisition of the Russian S-400, the F-35 joint strike fighter, bilateral trade and a pause in Turkey's operation in northern Syria.

"President Erdogan isn’t completely there yet, but it’s a give-and-take proposition,” he said. “He is very clearly aware of the decisions that he has to make, and the repercussions for those decisions."

Turkey's acquisition of the advanced Russian air-defense system prompted the Trump administration to remove Turkey from the F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter program in July.

The U.S. maintains that the system could be used by Russia to obtain classified details on the jet and is incompatible with NATO systems.

Turkey, however, maintains that the S-400 would neither be integrated into NATO systems, nor pose a threat to the alliance.

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