US’ obstacles in defence cooperation with Turkey affect NATO’s security, says Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed concern at a meeting of the Turkey-US Business Council in New York over obstacles to defense cooperation between the United States and Turkey, saying it also affects NATO security.

Referring to NATO’s security landscape, Erdogan stated that “artificial obstacles to our defense cooperation with the US, which violate allied law, also have a negative impact on NATO’s security landscape,” according to Sputnik.

The Turkish President cited the development of a biased attitude as a result of pressure from certain lobbies on decision-makers as the reason for the ailing relations between the United States and Turkey.

The US-Turkey Business Council is a core program representing more than 40 of the largest US companies from various industries with investments in Turkey. The council acts as the main point of contact for US companies doing business in Turkey, with offices in Washington and Istanbul.

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Turkey is excluded from the US program to supply F-35 fighters

The United States had earlier sent an official notice to Turkey informing the nation of its decision to cancel the joint memorandum on deliveries of advanced F-35 fighter jets after Ankara bought the S-400 air defense systems from Russia . After the development, Erdogan had stated that Washington had invited Turkey to buy other fighter jets like the F-16 but of the 4th generation.

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Meanwhile, the US had maintained the deal with seven remaining partners in the F-35 project – the UK, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark and Canada.

NATO cannot be strong without Turkey: Erdogan

Erdogan had previously told reporters during a press conference that “without Turkey, NATO is weak.” The Turkish President spoke in connection with the removal of a tweet about Turkey’s Victory Day (30 August) following a Greek objection.

NATO’s Land Command (LANDCOM) had tweeted congratulating Turkey on the day of its victory over Greece in the Battle of Dumlupinar, after which the tweet was deleted after Greece objected.

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“NATO is unimaginable without Turkey. Greece has no value within NATO. If there is no Turkey, NATO is not strong,” Erdogan said. Meanwhile, Erdogan said, Turkey is trying to increase the volume of gas bought from the United States.

“We want to increase the volume of gas we buy in the US on more favorable terms in the coming period. We are ready to cooperate in supplying US liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries in the region,” Erdogan said.

Currently Turkey’s main gas suppliers are Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran.

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