Shanahan Meets Turkish Counterpart For Talks On Bilateral Cooperation - Pentagon

Shanahan Meets Turkish Counterpart for Talks on Bilateral Cooperation - Pentagon

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th April, 2019) US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan met with Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar at the Pentagon to discuss bilateral collaboration and common interests rather than disagreements, Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers Jr. announced in a readout after the meeting.

Earlier in April, the Pentagon announced that Washington had halted deliveries and activities with Turkey on the F-35 fighter jet program over Ankara's decision to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems.

"The leaders met as strategic partners. They focused their discussion on interests, rather than positions, and on the importance of US-Turkish cooperation bilaterally and as NATO Allies in achieving mutual security and economic prosperity for both countries and the region," Summers said Tuesday.

The United States and NATO have criticized Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 systems, citing security concerns and inability of integration between S-400 and NATO's air defense systems.

Ankara, in turn, has said that purchase of military equipment is its sovereign affair and ruled out the possibility of abandoning its plans. The first shipment of S-400 air defense systems is expected to be delivered to Ankara in July.

Akar said on Monday that Turkey was ready for technical discussions with the United States on its concerns over Ankara's procurement of S-400 systems.

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