Turkey is counting on the US to provide it with the technology behind the Patriot missile system before a deal can be reached, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.
"We received a proposal [on the Patriots] from the delegation that came from the US. For us, the timing of the delivery of the systems is important. We purchased the S-400, but we still need more similar systems. Our criteria are also joint production and technology transfer," the Turkish foreign minister said, speaking to reporters on Thursday.
A US team wrapped up two days-worth of talks with its Turkish counterparts on Wednesday. Earlier, Turkish media reported that the US team would look at "express specific concerns" about Turkey's purchase of the S-400s from Russia and how this would affect the "flight safety of F-35 aircraft."
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Ankara would go ahead with its S-400 purchase despite US concerns, saying there was "no link" between the S-400s and the Patriot missile systems. "Turkey may buy Patriot systems in the future. But it will be impossible if abandoning S-400 will be one of the conditions for the purchase," he said.
Washington has spent months lobbying Turkey to pull out of the S-400 deal. US officials have characterised the possible deployment of S-400s in areas where F-35s are set to operate as a 'threat', usually without providing details on why this would be so. Observers have argued that the S-400s will allow Turkey to test just how formidable the fifth-gen US jet's stealth systems are when matched up against the Russian air defence system. Last year, the US halted the delivery of F-35s to Turkey amid disagreement over the S-400.