US may sell Patriot Defence Missile System to the leading Islamic country
ANKARA - The Turkish president says he will discuss with his American counterpart Donald Trump a possible purchase of US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile systems in an upcoming meeting.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters published on Friday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he had raised the issue in a phone call with Trump two weeks ago, and that they would further talk about a Patriot deal during a meeting at the UN General Assembly later this month.
He also noted that his close relationship with Trump could mend tensions over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems.
The S-400 sale has raised the prospect of US sanctions on Turkey and led the administration of US President Donald Trump to exclude Ankara from its F-35 stealth fighter jet program. [image: PressTV-US will not sell Turkey F-35 fighters: Trump] link
“I said no matter what package of ... S-400s we get, we can buy from you a certain amount of Patriots,” Erdogan said. “But I said we have to see conditions that at least match up to the S-400s."
“He (Trump) said: ‘Are you serious?’ I said: ‘Yes’,” he added, stressing that he told Trump they would discuss it in greater detail when they meet.
Patriots are designed primarily to take out ballistic missiles, not aircraft, unlike the dual-use Russian S-400 systems.
The US argues that Russian military hardware would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey maintains that it needs air defense systems to meet security threats, mainly emanating from the conflict in neighboring Syria.