Turkish FM urges US senators over F-35 fighter jets
Blocking the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over its procurement of the Russian-made the S-400 air defense system would bring about consequences, said Turkey’s foreign minister in a meeting with two senior United States senators on the margins of the NATO Summit.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from the New Hampshire, and Tom Thillis, a Republican from North Carolina, in Brussels on July 12. Both senators initiated congressional actions against the delivery of the F-35s to Turkey because of the continued detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson and Ankara’s planned procurement of the S-400 anti-ballistic missile system from Russia.
“We have openly reacted against initiatives in the Congress that target Turkey over the F-35s project and S-400s. We have emphasized that these kind of initiatives would cause consequences on our ties [with the U.S.],” Çavuşoğlu tweeted after his talks with senators.
Shaheen and Senator Lindsey Graham paid a surprise visit to Ankara in late June to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to directly appeal the release of Brunson. Shaheen had filed a motion to a Pentagon bill to block the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey due to Brunson’s detention.