U.S., Turkey Hold F-35 Dispute Resolution Meeting

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:31 AM, October 28, 2021
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U.S., Turkey Hold F-35 Dispute Resolution Meeting
Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters

The U.S. and Turkey held another round of talks to resolve the dispute over the latter’s removal from the F-35 program for buying S-400 missile systems.

DoD Spokesman Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth said top Pentagon officials Andrew Winternitz and Melissa Benkert met a delegation from Turkey’s Defense Ministry on October 27 to conduct “dispute resolution discussions to address remaining issues resulting from Turkey's removal from the F-35 program, which was finalized on September 23."

"The meeting demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. government to conclude respectfully Turkey's prior involvement in the F-35 program," Semelroth said in a statement. "Discussions were productive, and the delegations plan to meet again in the coming months in Washington, D.C.," he added.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will bring up the F-35 issue during his meeting with U.S. counterpart Joe Biden during the COP26 climate summit which starts this Sunday.

Turkey made $1.4 billion in payments for F-35 fighter jets, Erdogan pointed out, jets which the U.S. never delivered. "We need to discuss with them how this will be repaid to us," he said.

Erdogan earlier said the U.S. proposed the sale of F-16 fighter jets as compensation for Turkey's payment for the F-35s.

In a letter to Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 11 members of the House of Representatives cited "a profound sense of concern" over Turkey’s alleged purchase of 40 new Lockheed Martin F-16s and 80 F-16 modernization kits, a Reuters report said Wednesday. The U.S. lawmakers added that they were confident Congress would block any such exports.

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