Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russia, Turkey call ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province, Russian media says

Russia, Turkey call ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province, Russian media says

Akar, cited by the defense ministry in a statement, also said Turkey is preparing a response to the letter and that it would be sent to the United States in the coming days. The move would also see Turkey locked out of receiving the next generation of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the US.

The Pentagon announced on Friday that if Turkey did not give up on the S-400 system by July 3, Ankara would be blocked from purchasing F-35 fighter jets and Turkish pilots now training in the U.S. would be expelled.

Speaking at a meeting of his AK Party members, Erdogan said Turkey will hold to account anyone who excludes Turkey from the F-35 program. "We will seek redress for our exclusion, which isn't based on intelligent or justified reasons, on all platforms", including when he meets President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit in Japan at the end of June.

Erdogan has resisted USA pressure to back out of the Russian purchase, saying it is a done deal and has dismissed suggestions it is a threat to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems. Turkey expects the United States to change its position on the deliveries of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, as it may incur irreparable damage to bilateral relations, said Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday.

Turkey has repeatedly proposed a joint working group to assess the impact of the S-400 surface-to-air defense systems, but Washington has not yet taken up the suggestion.

Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35s.

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"Did we ask for such a defense system from America?"

Erdogan was lying about the USA refusing to sell him defense systems. Yes, we did. Did they deliver? Turkey has contacted Russian Federation, which signed a deal last September to jointly monitor the ceasefire in Idlib.

Erdogan also said he wanted to talk about the issue on the phone with the U.S. before he meets President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan, at the end of this month.

Aaron Stein, Middle East director at the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, said improving relations between Turkey and Russian Federation means "bad could turn into grievous" for US-Turkish ties.

Russian Federation said on Tuesday it plans to deliver its S-400s to Turkey in July, setting the clock ticking on a United States threat to hit Ankara with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal.

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