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US offer of F-35s falls flat as Turkey clings to Russian missiles

A delegation of US Congress members has failed to convince Ankara to give up on acquiring its Russian missile defense system in return for fulfillment of its order of American fighter jets.
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets are about to receive fuel mid-air from a KC-135 refueling plane over Norway en route to a joint training exercise with Norway's growing fleet of F-35 jets August 15, 2018.  REUTERS/Andrea Shalal - RC1BFCD5DE40

ANKARA — Turkey flatly rejected a proposal today by visiting US Congress members that it abandon its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missiles in order to receive the F-35 fighter planes that it had ordered from the United States.

Speaking on a visit to Lithuania, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the purchase of the Russian missiles would go through: “We have to protect our airspace. This is a must for us.”

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