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Turkey: Air-defense purchase from Russia ‘done deal’

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Johannesburg, July 26, 2018. (en.Kremlin.ru/Released)
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This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Turkey will honor its air-defense deal with Russia despite warnings from Washington, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said following talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

“We have agreed with Russia in the end and signed an agreement. This agreement is valid [and] we are discussing when the delivery will be,” Cavusoglu told reporters on March 29.

“This agreement is a done deal,” he added.

He also said Ankara did not plan to sell the S-400 to other parties.

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Four U.S. senators on March 28 introduced a bipartisan bill to prohibit the transfer of F-35s to Turkey until the U.S. government certifies that Ankara will not take delivery of the S-400 system.

Cavusoglu said Turkey had been receiving contradictory statements from the United States, adding that Ankara had met all its obligations related to the F-35s.

He also said that Ankara opposed the United States’ recent move to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on March 25 officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, reversing long-standing U.S. policy.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the move, saying it put the Middle East on the brink of a new crisis.

Russia, Iran and a number of Arab countries including U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf have also blasted Trump’s decision.

Lavrov said at the briefing with Cavusoglu that Washington’s decision on the Golan Heights was “a deliberate, conscious demonstration of permissiveness.”

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