Turkey, US preparing to discuss F-35 in near future : Defense Minister

Ankara, Jan 8 (UNI/Sputnik) Turkish and US officials will meet to discuss F-35 jets in the nearest future, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday, adding that preparations for the meeting are underway.

“Negotiations with the United States on the F-35 are ongoing. In the coming days, a meeting will be held in the United States to discuss the F-35 issue, preparations are underway,” Akar said as quoted by Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Akar added that the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, as a result of which Turkey was removed from the F-35 program, was a necessity, not a choice.

On January 3, Akar said that Turkey and the United States would discuss the F-35 multirole fighter jet program during a meeting in Washington in early 2022.

In 2019, the US suspended Turkey’s participation in its F-35 program over Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system and later completely removed it from the project. In October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Washington invited Ankara to buy F-16 fighter jets as a return for its investment in the F-35 program.


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