June 10, 2019
ANKARA (Reuters) – The United States has not moved to create a joint working group to assess its concerns regarding Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, the head of the Turkish Defence Industries Directorate said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Ankara, Ismail Demir said Turkish officials were preparing a response to a letter by acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, which outlined how Turkey would be pulled out the F-35 fighter jet program if it pressed on with the S-400 deal.
The two NATO allies have sparred publicly for months over Turkey’s order for the S-400s, which Washington says poses a threat to the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighters, which Turkey also plans to buy. Turkey proposed the joint working group.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)