Turkey is trying to fulfil its commitments and responsibilities both on S-400 air defense system and F-35 fighter jet, the country’s defense minister said on Friday.
“On the issues of both S-400 and F-35, we are showing efforts to completely fulfill whatever our commitments and responsibilities are without flaws,” Hulusi Akar said during his visit to an airbase in eastern Malatya province where F-35 jets will be deployed.
"We are setting up an area for the activities of F-35 here,” Akar said, adding that some parts of the jets were being produced in Turkey.
Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia.
U.S. officials have suggested Turkey buy the U.S. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and is a threat to the F-35 fifth-generation stealth aircraft.
Turkey responded it was the U.S. refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered a better deal, including technology transfers.
Reporting by Sarp Ozer
Writing by Sena Guler