Despite Turkey's assurances, USA still eyes sanctions, F-35 exit

Erdogan and Trump discussed the US-Turkish relations last weekend in Japan on the sidelines of a G20 summit

Erdogan and Trump discussed the US-Turkish relations last weekend in Japan on the sidelines of a G20 summit

"This would be robbery", Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet daily.

In response, Washington has threatened to cancel Turkey's order of 116 F-35 fighter jets and kick it off the training and production program, as well as wider economic sanctions.

"The US Congress is unlikely to be as sanguine as the president on sanctions". We are not just a market, we are also joint producers.

"However, we can use any weapon in our hand anywhere in Turkey whenever necessary", Demir added.

US-Turkish disagreements over Ankara purchasing Russian S-400 air defence systems have started to die down after the recent G20 summit in Japan's Osaka, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

"The United States has consistently and clearly stated that Turkey will face very real and negative consequences if it proceeds with its S-400 acquisition, including suspension of procurement and industrial participation in the F-35 program and exposure to sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)", a State Department spokeswoman said. Geopolitical tensions between the two countries is continuing to rise amid a refusal by the U.S. to hand over to Turkey F-35 fighter jets which the latter has bought.

Following private talks with Trump, Mr Erdogan alleged that the US President would never impose punishment on Ankara over the S-400 issue.

But after meeting his United States counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday, Erdogan said he had been assured there would be no sanctions.

In his latest comments, Erdogan said Trump's attitude was "praiseworthy".

Turkey's S-400 purchase has raised eyebrows among Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and provoked anger in Washington, which expected Ankara to opt for the US Patriot air defence system instead.

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