Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, following their talks in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool)
UPDATED 4:35 PM PT — Thursday, January 23, 2020
Turkey’s foreign minister is saying his country’s use of a Russian missile defense system poses no threat to NATO or its allies. On Thursday, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called for NATO to form a working group and address the claim the Russian S-400 missile system isn’t compatible with U.S. made F-35 fighter jets.
Turkey received a delivery of the missile system last summer, which prompted the Department of Defense to kick it out of the F-35 program.
NATO’s secretary general said the organization will do whatever it can to find a way to solve the issue.
“Let me just briefly say that Turkey is really an important ally for many reasons: for their contributions to NATO missions and operations, but also bordering Iraq and Syria,” stated Jens Stoltenberg. “Of course, the enormous progress we have been able to make liberating all the territory that ISIS controlled until recently.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sideline of the conference on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Turkish Presidency Press Service via AP, Pool)
Recent reports said Russia has shipped more than 120 surface-to-air missiles to Turkey, along with additional equipment. A number of other countries are also reportedly interested in the missile system, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.