Publicado: Jue, Junio 13, 2019
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

United States stops Turkish pilots now training on F-35s

United States stops Turkish pilots now training on F-35s

US officials argued it would be incompatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge, but Turkey has emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operability and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

The House resolution entitled "Expressing concern for the United States-Turkey alliance" underlining concerns about Ankara's foreign policy and the country's judicial system is not acceptable, Turkey's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Specifically, Air Force officials were concerned the pending decision to end Turkey's involvement in the F-35 program this summer if it moves forward with a plan to purchase the Russian S-400 air defense system could impact the Turkish pilots' focus, the official said.

The same sources said that "some of the USA institutions do not want to take into consideration" the issues that Erdoğan and his US counterpart Donald Trump had previously mutually agreed on.

Ankara said it was Washington's initial refusal to sell its Patriot missile system that led it to seek other offers, adding that Russian Federation offered a better deal that included technology transfers.

The head of Russia's state-owned conglomerate Rostec said last week that Moscow would begin delivering the S-400 air defence systems to Turkey. That, the resolution said, would undermine the USA -led transatlantic defence alliance.

"It is unacceptable to take decisions which do not serve to increase mutual trust, to continue to keep the language of threats and sanctions on the agenda and to set various artificial deadlines", it added.

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President Tayyip Erdogan's government faces a balancing act in its ties with the West and Russian Federation, with which it has close energy ties and is also cooperating in neighboring Syria.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey's S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the United States, which has threatened to remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet programme unless Turkey pulls out of the deal.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said last week in a letter to his Turkish counterpart the F-35 program for Turkish pilots would end July 31st and halted any new Turkish pilots from enrolling, giving pilots enough time to complete their training. There is no middle ground. "There's no third option".

Turkey appeared set to move ahead with the S-400 purchase despite the USA warnings.

The anonymous sources noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's has already said that the purchase from Moscow was a "done deal" and "there is no backtracking from that".

Separately, credit ratings agency Fitch said on Tuesday that any US sanctions would have a "significant impact" on sentiment around the Turkish lira, which has sold off since late March in part due to the spat with Washington over the missile defense system.

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