“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey‘s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?” Oktay said on Twitter.
His remarks came in response to his U.S. counterpart Mike Pence‘s tweet in which he said that Turkey must choose whether it wants to remain a critical partner of NATO, or continue its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?” Pence said.
In the meantime, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, in Washington for the 70th anniversary of the Western alliance and a meeting of its foreign ministers, told Reuters in an interview he had spoken several times with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan about the S-400 issue and had discussed it in a meeting with Trump on April 2.
Asked about Turkey‘s working-group proposal, Stoltenberg said the S-400 issue had been considered many times at different NATO ministerial meetings. While it was not formally on the agenda in Washington, he expected it to be addressed.
“I expect that on the margins of our foreign ministerial meeting here in Washington this week, the S-400 issue will be discussed again. Not at the formal agenda, but on the margins when we have the ministers sitting down and looking into whether there’s a way to find a compromise,” Stoltenberg said.