Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he expects to meet with US President Joe Biden next week and take over Turkey’s withdrawal from the US-led F-35 fighter jet program.
“Most likely we will have a meeting in Glasgow instead of Rome. “Our most important issue will be the F-35,” Erdogan told reporters on his return from a trip to Azerbaijan on Wednesday.
The United States removed NATO ally Turkey from the international program producing F-35 jets in 2019 due to Ankara’s decision to buy Russia’s advanced S-400 missile defense system. Washington has said the Russian system endangers the security of the F-35.
Erdogan said his government is seeking to recoup a $ 1.4 billion payment the country made before being excluded from the F-35 program, and the US proposed selling F-16 fighter jets to Turkey to offset the payment.
Erdogan and Biden will both attend the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12.
Erdogan had previously said he planned to meet with Biden during a G-20 summit in Rome. “We have a $ 1.4 billion payment for the F-35. We need to discuss what the repayment plan will be. ”
Erdogan’s comments came days after the Turkish leader withdrew from a threat to expel the ambassadors of the United States and nine other Western countries for their support for Osman Kavala, a jailed activist and philanthropist, mitigating a possible diplomatic crisis. .
Envoys last week demanded the release of Kavala , who has been in a Turkish prison for four years awaiting trial on charges many have seen as unfounded.
The crisis was averted after the embassies declared that they complied with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention, which describes the duties of diplomats to respect the laws of the host country and not to interfere in the internal affairs.
Erdogan denied having taken a step back in the crisis. “I am on the offensive. “There is no going back on my book,” he said.
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