Published:  12:47 AM, 13 June 2019

'US letter on F-35s not in line with spirit of alliance'

'US letter on F-35s not in line with spirit of alliance' Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar and US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. -Reuters

Turkey on Wednesday criticized a letter from Washington on Ankara's eventual removal from the F-35 fighter jet program, saying the language used did not suit the spirit of alliance between the two NATO allies.

Writing to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar last week, US acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan outlined how Turkey would be pulled out of the F-35 program unless Ankara changes course from its plans to purchase the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

Akar, cited by his ministry in a statement, said Ankara was working on a response to the letter and that it would be sent to the United States in the coming days. He added that he was set to speak with Shanahan by phone and that they would meet in person at a NATO meeting at the end of the month. "In the contacts we will make, whether via mail or a meeting in person, all topics are on the table.

---Reuters, Istanbul

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