The United States is continuing talks with Turkey over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday.
“We are in a continuing discussion with our Turkish allies about our concerns over Turkey’s possession of the S-400 system, and it’s a conversation that is ongoing,” Price said during a press briefing.
When asked whether he can confirm reports of US planning to lift Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSAA) measures, “I don’t have any response for you on that.”
“CATSAA is written into legislation, it’s mandated by law,” Price said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the US State Department’s letter to the Congress regarding the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey is a positive step, but Ankara remains cautious.
The State Department sent a letter to Congress last week, stressing that the proposed sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey would be beneficial for US and NATO security interests. In October, Turkey made an official request to the US for the purchase of 40 F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits to upgrade its existing fleet.
In 2019, the United States suspended Turkey’s participation in its F-35 fighter jet program over Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system and later completely removed it from the project. However, Turkey has insisted that it needs and will continue to use the S-400 air defense system.