U.S. Cannot Unilaterally Remove Turkey from F-35 Program: Turkish Defense Official (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published June 21, 2019)
ISTANBUL --- The United States cannot unilaterally remove Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program as the partnership agreement does not allow it, Turkey’s head of Defense Industries Directorate said on Friday.

“No single country can say they don’t want you and then remove you from the program,” Ismail Demir told reporters.

“This isn’t part of the agreement, this isn’t something you can just say ‘I exclude you’ about. The F-35 project is a partnership and nowhere in the agreement does it allow a unilateral removal of one country,” he said.

Ankara and Washington have been at loggerheads for months over Turkey’s planned purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system. The United States says the S-400s are incompatible with NATO’s defense network and could compromise its F-35 fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping build and planning to buy. (end of excerpt)


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