Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Tuesday he met U.S. President Donald Trump and broadcaster NTV reported him as saying Trump took a reasonable point of view regarding Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.
CNN Turk cited Albayrak as telling reporters that there was agreement at his meetings in Washington to increase bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey to $75 billion annually.
Turkey’s purchase of a Russian air defense missile system should not trigger U.S. sanctions because Ankara is not an adversary of Washington and remains committed to the NATO alliance, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday.
Speaking at a U.S.-Turkey conference in Washington as tensions mount between the two NATO allies over Ankara’s plan to buy the Russian S-400 missile system, Akar adopted a relatively conciliatory tone and urged that issues be resolved through dialogue.
“Turkey is clearly not an adversary of the United States,” Akar said, adding that its procurement of the S-400 system should not therefore be considered within the scope of U.S. sanctions designed to target America’s enemies.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that Washington had told Ankara it could face retribution for buying the S-400s under a sanctions law known as Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSAA).