US should deliver F-35s we paid for: Turkish FM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Oct. 27 the United States should either deliver the F-35 fighter jets that Turkey paid for or return the money or give another product instead.

"If the U.S does not want to resolve the F35s issue, or if the U.S. Congress blocks it, then Turkey will consider other options, including purchasing [Russian-made] SU-35 or SU-57," Çavuşoğlu told private broadcaster CNN Türk in a televised interview, adding that talks on the issue would continue.

"We see that different lobbies are active on this issue," the minister said.

"There are 11 congress members. Congressional approval is essential. Why did we buy the S-400s? Because the U.S. did not sell the Patriots to us using Congress as an excuse, so we turned to other sources. Now, a similar move may come from Congress, but the attitude of the U.S. administration is more important here. The administration can persuade Congress," he added.

Çavuşoğlu said that double standards against Turkey would weaken NATO.

In 2019, Washington announced that it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 program over Ankara's purchase of Russia's S-400 air defense system.

Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems and pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 26 said he would discuss with U.S. President Joe Biden the $1.4-billion payment plan for the F-35 fighter jets that Washington refused to deliver to Turkey after Ankara purchased Russian-made S-400 defense systems.

The most important subject in this meeting will be the F-35 issue, Erdoğan said, noting that there were signals from Washington to deliver the F-16 warplanes in return for Turkey's money paid for...

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