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US denies willingness to talk over S-400 concerns with Turkey

A Pentagon spokesman told Al-Monitor that its concerns with Ankara’s purchase of the Russian missile defense system “cannot be mitigated.”
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS - RC1B9A3C2D00
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The US government is pushing back against reports that President Donald Trump acquiesced to Turkey’s request to discuss Ankara’s pending purchase of a Russian missile defense system, telling Al-Monitor that its concerns “cannot be mitigated.”

The comments come after the London-based Middle East Eye news site, citing “several Turkish officials,” reported today that Trump had overruled the State and Defense departments and agreed to create a working group on the issue in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this week. US officials have suspended Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter jet program over the pending purchase, but Ankara believes it can convince them that the Russian technology isn’t a threat.

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