US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Monday discussed a Turkish proposal to set up a joint working group on its planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system.
The Turkish presidency said that Erdogan “brought up the proposal to establish a working group regarding the procurement of the S-400 defense system” from Russia. The US has said the missile system could compromise its F-35 fighter jets.
Ankara insists a working group could assess the impact of the S-400 on the fighter jets, Reuters reports. On Friday. Turkey said that it has not heard back from the Americans.
General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, suggested that the United States should cut the sale of F-35 fighters to Turkey if Ankara adopts S-400 system.
On April 3, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned Turkey against purchasing the S-400 system from Russia, despite Ankara’s firm stance on the deal.
The Pentagon announced earlier this month that it halted “deliveries and activities” related to Turkey’s procurement of the F-35 fighter jets program if Ankara insisted on the S-400 deal.
Washington also reportedly threatened to reject sales of Patriot missiles to Turkey in case of the latter’s purchase of Russian systems.