Turkey's Erdogan Says S-400s Delivery Starting In July

Turkey's Erdogan Says S-400s Delivery Starting In July

Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, here on Saturday, agreeing to promote bilateral cooperation on the sidelines of the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

"Right now, it is not possible to say a full ceasefire is in place but our efforts on this with Russian Federation are continuing", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference with his French counterpart. But, Erdogan has said the U.S. offer was not "as good as the S-400s". "We are working hard with Russian Federation to stop these attacks". The move would also see Turkey locked out of receiving the next generation of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the US.

The phone call between Hulusi Akar, Turkey's national defence minister, and Patrick Shanahan, the acting USA defence secretary, came after Akar said Wednesday the letter was "not in line with the spirit of the alliance".

"Nobody can give an ultimatum to Turkey".

The US Defence Secretary threatened earlier this month to remove all Turkish pilots now training in the US if the deal went ahead - but it failed to deter President Erdogan.

The expensive U.S. systems bring along with them the burdens of American imposed tactical limitations.

The lira stood at 5.8460 at 1029 GMT on Thursday, weakening from around 5.8320, where it stood prior to Cavusoglu's speech.

Washington are also offering the carrot as well as the stick as they desperately seek to get Turkey on board.

Russia and Turkey have brokered a complete ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province between Syrian government forces and rebels, Russian news agencies cited the Russian military as saying on Wednesday.

Erdogan said Turkey does its best to end the civil war in Syria and ensure stability there.

President Erdogan initially expressed a desire to overthrow President Assad - aligning with USA interests - but has recently brokered a deal with Iran and Russian Federation around the Idlib situation.

US acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan this month outlined how Turkey would be pulled out of the F-35 fighter jet program unless Ankara changed course from its plans to buy the missile systems. On the other hand, the Russian-made batteries are capable of downing both Russian and United States jets.

Washington is struggling to convince other powerful nations not to engage in the Moscow transaction. On Friday, He said: "If the attack on the military observation bases in Idlib continues, we shall not keep silent, and we would do what is necessary, nobody should doubt that".

Turkey disagreed with Russian Federation earlier this week after Moscow claimed a new ceasefire had been secured in the province following weeks of regime bombardments - a claim that was denied by Ankara.

Russia, which supports Assad, and Turkey, long a backer of the rebels, co-sponsored a de-escalation agreement for the area that has been in place since previous year but faltered in recent months, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee. "We call on the Syrian regime and its supporters to stop their indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Idlib", he said.

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