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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Turkey, France, Italy to collaborate on missile defence: Erdogan

President Erdogan said that Turkey would take "positive steps" with France and Italy on the SAMP-T missile defence system developed by the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium. The development has come after US sanctioned Turkey on Russian missile defence system deal.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey would take “positive steps” with France and Italy on the SAMP-T missile defence system developed by the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium.

Ankara, which has incurred U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence batteries, has also discussed in recent years acquiring or developing a system based on the SAMP-T, but has so far made little apparent progress.

Erdogan was speaking to reporters following the G20 summit in Rome, where he met with Italiam Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

US-Turkey relations

US President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged Sunday to improve bilateral ties following a particularly tense period between Washington and Ankara.

Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, the two leaders “had a very constructive conversation” in which Biden “made clear his desire to have constructive relations with Turkey and to find an effective way to manage our disagreements,” a senior US administration official said.

Read more: 10 countries to severe diplomatic ties with Turkey

According to the Turkish presidency, the leaders “expressed their joint commitment to further strengthening Turkey-US relations and agreed to establish a joint mechanism to that effect”.

They also “stressed the importance of the NATO alliance,” the Turkish presidency said.

Turkey’s 2019 purchase of a Russian S-400 air defence system has been an irritant on ties, prompting Washington to block Ankara’s plans to buy about 100 next-generation US F-35 planes.

Erdogan has insisted on compensation, saying Washington could pay back at least part of the $1.4 billion advance payment Turkey made for the F-35s through the delivery of older-generation F-16 fighter jets.

Read more: Turkey eyeing F-16 fighters after F-35 plan killed

In addition, Erdogan earlier this month threatened to expel a slew of Western ambassadors, including from the United States, over their support for a jailed Turkish activist.

Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk