Turkey has not rejected the Patriot missile system, with talks continuing despite the purchase of Russia's S-400s, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy has indicated.
"We never said that we will not buy the Patriot systems. Technical negotiations [with the US] are continuing, even though the US has made us an offer rather late. At the same time, our position on the S-400s is clear", Aksoy said, speaking at a press briefing in Ankara on Friday.
Turkish officials have repeatedly indicated that Turkey has no plans to abandon the purchase of its Russian-made S-400s, with deliveries to start in July, despite serious pressure to do so from Washington. The US has alleged that the S-400's systems are incompatible with NATO air defence standards, and a possible danger to the F-35's stealth systems, and has threatened to withhold the sale of the fighters to Turkey, or to slap Ankara with anti-Russian arms sanctions if it goes through with the S-400 deal.
Turkey has poured over $1.25 billion into the F-35 programme, and is a manufacturer of some of its components. Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu warned that if the US refuses to supply Turkey with its F-35s, Ankara would satisfy its needs in "another place".