Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he planned to discuss the exports of US F-35 jets with US President Donald Trump during his planned visit to Washington on 13 November, despite Trump’s threats against the Middle Eastern country’s economy.
On Monday, Erdogan said his planned to address the F-35 fighters deliveries during his visit to the US capital in early November. However, on the same day, Trump threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if Ankara did anything “off limits” in its then-planned military operation in northern Syria.
The Turkish offensive in the area began on Wednesday. In response, US senators proposed a bill sanctioning Turkey’s officials and their assets, among other measures. Trump has backed the restrictions, saying he would “do far more than sanctions.”
“Me and Mister Trump are making efforts to strengthen relations between Turkey and the United States. He said that Turkey implemented its part [of the deal on F-35] … If Allah wills, we will arrive in Washington on November 13 and we will have an opportunity to talk,” Erdogan told Turkish reporters on board his plane after the end of his visit to Serbia, as quoted by CNN Turk.
Commenting on Trump’s threats against Turkey, Erdogan said that “such claims are aimed at preventing pressure from certain circles.”
In July, the United States announced its decision to suspend Turkey’s participation in the F-35 international program over Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, adding that the country would be completely removed from the project by late March 2020.
The United States has repeatedly objected to its NATO ally purchasing Russian-made defense systems, saying the S-400 is incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise the operation of F-35 jets.