(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Trend
Ankara hopes that US President Donald Trump will visit Turkey, said Ibrahim Kalin, Press Secretary of the Turkish President, Trend reports with reference to Turkish media.
He said that Ankara repeatedly stated its readiness to receive Trump and that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself invited the US President to visit the country. In his words, the administration of the US President also does not exclude Trump's visit to Ankara in 2019.
Touching upon the issue of the procurement of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, Kalin said that the relevant decision by Ankara was made on the basis of national interests. Russian S-400s do not pose a threat to NATO, and the US knows it very well, he added.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the US believes that Turkey would be unable to have both American F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible. 'According to Pentagon sources, it is impossible to launch the F-35 in the space where the S-400 is operated, he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country may receive the S-400 missile systems earlier than scheduled. In his words, Turkey expects to receive the first supplies of the S-400 missile systems in July 2019.
The President noted that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of S-400. "This issue has been already resolved by Turkey," Erdogan added.
Initial reports about negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the supply of S-400 appeared in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017.
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the S-400 air defense systems would be deployed starting from October 2019. The supply of the S-400 air defense systems to Ankara cost $2.5 billion, Head of the Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov informed in December 2017.
Turkey is the first NATO member country, which will receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.