United States letter 'not in line with spirit of alliance': Turkey

United States letter 'not in line with spirit of alliance': Turkey

United States letter 'not in line with spirit of alliance': Turkey

Akar, cited by his ministry in a statement, said Ankara was working on a response to the letter and that it would be sent to the United States in the coming days.

Earlier in June, acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan formally informed Turkey that it would not be allowed to receive the US F-35 fighter jets it had already purchased if it went ahead with the S-400 air defence systems deal.

He added that he was set to speak with Shanahan by phone and that they would meet in person at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting at the end of the month.

Writing to Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar last week, US acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan outlined how Turkey would be pulled out of the F-35 programme unless Ankara changes course from its plans to purchase the Russian S-400 missile defence system.

Shanahan, quoted by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency, confirmed on Tuesday that he meant to discuss the spat with Ankara with his Turkish counterpart.

Shanahan said last week in a letter to Akar that the F-35 fighter jet training program for Turkish pilots would end July 31, giving the pilots enough time to complete their training.

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Akar's statement comes a day after it was reported that Washington halted the training of Turkish F-35 pilots at an airbase in the U.S. state of Arizona.

"We will hold to account Turkey's exclusion from F-35 program in every platform due to reasons without reason or legitimacy", Erdogan said.

"To date, we have fulfilled all of our responsibilities without any delay or interruption toward the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", he said.

Akar reiterated that Turkey has always remained committed to its responsibility toward North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the U.S.

Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the USA with no success.

On Tuesday, Russia said it planned to deliver the system to Turkey in July.

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