Erdogan spokesman Kalin says discussed F-35 letter with Bolton on phone

June 13, 2019

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday he spoke on the phone with President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton to discuss a letter sent by the Pentagon about Ankara’s removal from the F-35 jets program.

Washington has warned Turkey against buying and installing Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara following a cabinet meeting, Kalin said he hoped the Pentagon would abandon its current attitude toward Turkey, which he said could permanently damage ties between the two NATO allies.

U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan last week sent his Turkish counterpart a letter warning that Ankara would be pulled out of the F-35 jet program unless it changes course from its plans to install the S-400 defenses.

Kalin also said Erdogan was set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of June during the G20 meeting in Japan.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

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