Duvar English - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Ankara was willing to address the United States' concerns over Turkey's employment of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
"We're ready to discuss the technical concerns of the U.S. on the compatibility of S-400s and F-35s. Our offer to form a joint working group is still on the table," Akar said, adding that the offer had been officially relayed to both the U.S. and NATO.
The U.S. officially removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program in July 2019 over Ankara's decision to deploy the Russian air defense system.
NATO member Turkey will use its Russian-made S-400 missile defense system just as other members of the alliance use their S-300 defense systems, Akar noted.
S-300 defense systems are also Russian-made and they are an older version of the S-400 series.
"Just as the S-300 [missile defense] system, which exists in some NATO member states, is used in NATO alliance, the S-400 system will also be used [in Turkey] in the same way," Akar told the members of the Turkish Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
Russia has sold the S-300 system to 20 countries, including NATO members such as Bulgaria, Greece, and Slovakia.
Akar noted that Turkey would continue on the control and preparation process of the S-400 system "as planned."
Akar also said that a total of 20,571 members had been discharged from the Turkish Army since the failed coup attempt of 2016, which triggered Ankara's purge of public institutions in an attempt to discharge any accomplices of the coup.