Ankara does not have to cut ties with other countries when diverging opinions occur, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Friday.
“Turkey and the U.S. relations does not only consist of the S-400 [missile defense system] and F-35s [fighter jets],” he said at a joint news conference his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, in Hungary’s capital. “These are of course important. There are regional and bilateral issues between Turkey and the U.S. such as the withdrawal of American troops from Syria.”
Turkey wanted a missile defense system from a NATO ally, especially the U.S., but Washington does not want to sell to Ankara, he said, highlighting the serious dangers in the Turkish region.
As a result, Turkey impressed the urgent need of an air defense system with other countries and the most appropriate proposal it received was from Russia, he said, following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems Washington with no success.
The process of S-400 have been completed, this is a done deal, he said.
Cavusoglu contended that the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system will completely be under Turkey’s control, pushing back on claims by American officials that it will jeopardize Ankara’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger American congressional sanctions.
“President Trump admits that Turkey bought the S-400 because, as he says, the U.S. could not sell the Patriot batteries to Turkey in the past,” he said.
Cavusoglu said Turkey and Hungary are establishing a joint working group on third-party countries.
With Africa a priority of both countries, the group will first visit Uganda and Turkey and Hungary will work together in Africa on trade and investment.
He said Hungary and Turkey do not go to other countries with a colonial approach. African countries need support and they want to extend their hands to African people by trade and investing, he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to visit Hungary and attend social, cultural activities alongside a bilateral meeting, Cavusoglu said.