US, Turkish top diplomats hold State Dept. talks

US, Turkish top diplomats hold State Dept. talks
# 04 April 2019 01:01 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted his Turkish counterpart for talks Wednesday at the State Department, ONA reports citing AA.

The discussions Mevlut Cavusoglu lasted 40 minutes, but neither the U.S. nor Turkey immediately released details.

The talks were expected to focus on an ongoing row between Washington and Ankara concerning Turkey's decision to purchase the Russian S-400 anti-air missile system, in addition to other topics.

Turkey's decision to procure the S-400 has led to significantly strained ties, and Washington earlier this week suspended delivery of parts and services necessary to Turkey's receipt of the F-35 stealth jet fighter.

U.S. officials have suggested Turkey buy U.S. Patriot missile systems rather than the Russian S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems, and exposes the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge, including covert efforts to obtain critical information on the jet, which could then be relayed to Russia.

In response to remarks that the S-400 missile system is incompatible with NATO military equipment, Cavusoglu said at a think tank gathering earlier Wednesday that the system would be for Turkey's own use.

"It doesn’t have to be integrated to the NATO system, and this is not our aim. It is for our own use, this is a defense system," he said.

"This system will not see any NATO system, including F-35s," the foreign minister added.