President Biden met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit in Rome on Sunday and raised concerns over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system.
The White House said Biden reaffirmed the United States’ defense partnership with Turkey as a NATO ally, but raised concerns about the missile system.
Mr. Biden also stressed “the importance of strong democratic institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law for peace and prosperity,” according to a reading from the White House.
Turkey’s purchase of the missile system has been a thorny issue in the United States
In July 2019, Turkey bought the Russian defense system, claiming the United States had failed to deliver the F-35 jets it had been promised. The United States has long disputed claims that it broke its promise.
The Trump administration in 2019 canceled delivery of the F-35 jets and sanctioned the nation.
The Pentagon in October 2020 condemned Turkey’s reported test of the S-400 system, saying it could pose a threat to the United States and NATO.
After Mr. Biden’s meeting with Mr. Erdogan, a senior White House official told reporters that the S-400 system “continues to be of concern to Congress and continues to be a factor in all of these matters. broader within the framework of our defense relationship. “
When asked if Mr Erdogan asked the United States to return some of the money it spent on the F-35 jets, the official said a team from the Department of Defense was working with Turkey on the matter.
âSo this process on the F-35 is ongoing,â the official said.