'S-400 matter is not an issue of NATO alliance’
US should not turn its arms market competition into an issue of NATO alliance, says senior Turkish official Ömer Çelik.
"THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION"
"Similarly, questioning Turkey on the F-35 program is like questioning NATO's joint projects and the collective concept of security," Ömer Çelik told reporters at the Justice and Development (AK) Party headquarters in Ankara.
“The US should not turn its arms market competition into an issue of NATO alliance,” Çelik added.
Washington has balked at Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400, and last week suspended delivery of parts and services for F-35 fighter jets. US officials have suggested Turkey buy the US Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and would expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey has responded that it was the US refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered it a better deal, including technology transfers.