20:25 GMT06 May 2021
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    Earlier, the US State Department approved the sale of $3.5 billion-worth of Patriot PAC-3 air defence systems to Turkey in a bid to convince Ankara to ditch its $2.5 billion S-400 deal with Moscow.

    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.

    In earlier negotiations with Ankara, Washington was reticent to transfer its patriot missile technology to Turkey. Moscow, meanwhile, promised Turkey joint production and technology transfer as part of the $2.5 billion S-400 deal.

    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.

    Moscow penned a $2.5 billion deal with Ankara on the sale of four battalion sets of S-400s in December 2017. The first of the systems are expected to be delivered later this year. Designed to stop enemy aircraft, drones, cruise and ballistic missiles, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defence system in Russia's arsenal.

    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.


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    technology transfer, air defence system, conditions, negotiations, talks, agreement, Patriot missile system, S-400, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey, US, Russia
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