ANKARA (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump demonstrates a reasonable attitude toward Ankara’s purchases of Russian S-400 air defense systems, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Tuesday, following talks with the US head of state in Washington. “During the meeting, Trump showed a reasonable approach to [our] need to purchase the S-400. It is possible that he will meet with our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] in the near future. The talks with Trump were positive and showed the importance he attached to Turkey,” the minister said, as cited by the NTV broadcaster. Berat Albayrak added that “there was a very positive, constructive conversation.” Earlier, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that Russian S-400 air defence systems will not be integrated into any active NATO military systems. Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the agreement to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems was a “done deal”. The Pentagon announced earlier that the United States suspended its deliveries and activities with Turkey on F-35 operational capabilities over Ankara’s decision to procure the S-400 defence systems from Russia. In December 2017, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 air defence systems to Ankara. The Russian-Turkish cooperation on S-400 deliveries has been criticised by NATO and the United States, which have cited security concerns and the inability of integration between S-400 and NATO’s air defence systems. Ankara, for its part, has said that the purchasing of military equipment is its sovereign affair and ruled out the possibility of abandoning the deal with Moscow. The first S-400 shipment is expected to be delivered to Ankara in July. Sputnik

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) -The US Department of State has approved a half a billion dollar possible sale of F-16 pilot training, spare parts and supply equipment to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to TECRO in the United States for the continuation of a pilot training program and maintenance/logistics support for F-16 aircraft currently at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona for an estimated cost of $500 million,” the release said on Monday.

TECR0 is responsible for maintaining bilateral relations between Taiwan and the United States.

Taiwan Defence Minister Yen De-fa recently revealed that Taipei expects to find out whether it will be permitted to buy additional F-16 fighter jets from the United States in July, as it continues to upgrade its ageing F-16A/B fleet.

In February, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence requested new and advanced fighter jets in order to “demonstrate our determination and ability to defend ourselves,” Taiwan Deputy Defence Minister Shen Yi-ming told reporters at the time, resulting in an outcry from Beijing.

Sputnik

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