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Mike Pence Slams Turkey And Germany In NATO Speech

05 April 2019

The Trump administration has halted its sale of F-35 fighter jets to ally Turkey until the country agrees to cancel its purchase of an anti-aircraft missile system from Russian Federation, according to reports.

"I expect we'll solve the problem so they have the right defense equipment in terms of Patriots and F-35s", acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said at the Pentagon, at nearly the same time Wolters was testifying on Capitol Hill.

The United States hopes to find a way out of the dispute by convincing Turkey to purchase the USA -made Patriot air defense system.

This week, Washington announced it was halting deliveries of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey until Ankara walked back on its deal with Moscow.

Cavusoglu said Turkey's chief prosecutor has yet to make a decision as to whether or not to release any additional details about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 14, 2019.

United States lawmakers also have expressed alarm over Turkey's planned purchase of the Russian system.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said today that he expects to be able to salvage United States military sales to Turkey that have been jeopardized by Ankara's insistence on buying a Russian missile defense system.

Turkey also intends to install Russia's advanced S-400 missile air defense system.

Markedly, in a repeat of Pence's speech in February during the Munich Security Conference during which attendees refused to applaud Pence's mention of President Trump, there was a marked silence after Pence said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation had been reinvigorated by "the resolute American leadership of President Donald Trump".

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Besides tensions centering around arms deals, Turkey has been expressing continuing concerns over Washington's support to the Syrian Kurdish militias, which are at the forefront of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The U.S. had agreed to sell Turkey 100 of the fifth-generation aircraft made by Lockheed Martin, initially planning to deliver two aircraft to Turkey in June.

Hungry for energy, Germany has also defied the United States and several Eastern European states by forging ahead with Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline with Russian Federation that will double the capacity of the existing link.

According to Scaparrotti, the presence of the S-400 in such close proximity to the F-35 provides a greater opportunity to analyze the aircraft and its capabilities.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey's minister of foreign affairs, said Wednesday that his country is "definitely" moving forward with its purchase of the S-400, known as the "F-35 killer" by Moscow. "There is no shift on our foreign policy".

Cavusoglu said it was "unacceptable" for the U.S. to insist Turkey could not buy a defence system from another country but would not sell any to Ankara either.

By halting jet deliveries, the Pentagon could subsequently delay training of Turkish pilots.

Summers said the Pentagon has no immediate plans to take back the first two Lightning II jets that belong to Turkey. "We have to shoulder responsibility in order to continue safeguarding it, in our own interest", he said.

The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced long-range air defense missile system that went into service in Russian Federation in 2007.

Mike Pence Slams Turkey And Germany In NATO Speech