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Cavusoglu: S-400 Purchase ‘a Must’ for Ankara

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that purchasing S-400 missile systems from Russia is “a must” for Ankara, reacting to a U.S. Congress call urging Ankara to give up purchasing the systems from Russia to receive the F-35 fighter jets.

“We have to protect our airspace. This is a must for us. They should understand it. Can the U.S. give us a guarantee to sell Patriots?” Cavusoglu said in a press conference in Lithuania on Tuesday.

Underscoring international law practices, Cavusoglu also stated that Turkey is a partner in the F-35 program and some parts are produced in the country. He called on the U.S. to “leave the language of threats” to settle the diplomatic crisis that persists between Washington and Ankara.

“If they say they can do anything they want, like in cowboy movies, then they will get a response,” Cavusoglu added.

“[The fact that] Congress members are coming to Turkey is important. Because there are different institutions in the U.S., different positions, different beliefs…Of course, there are also members of the Congress who know the importance of Turkey and those who strive for the strengthening of Turkey-U.S. relations,” he added.

According to Russian state-run news agency Sputnik, Cavusoglu has stated that Ankara wanted to buy the missile systems from NATO members, but “the allies could not or did not want to sell them.” He also noted that Ankara needed missiles.

“Does the U.S. give us the guarantee of selling Patriots? Even for F-35, each day we are getting threats, always this [or] that conditions. But I need to protect my air defense. Every country has missiles, I have to get a system to defend my own country,” he was quoted as saying.

A U.S. delegation paid a visit to Turkey on August 27 and met with Turkish parliamentarians to discuss Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 systems and delivery of F-35 fighter jets to the country.

Congressmen urged Ankara to abandon procurement of S-400 systems to guarantee the delivery of the F-35s, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

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