Turkey slams 'unfair' House resolution amid tensions

Turkey slams 'unfair' House resolution amid tensions
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The Turkish government on Tuesday blasted a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that condemned its purchase of defense systems from Russia and called for political sanctions, according to Reuters.

The House introduced the resolution in May and agreed to it on Monday. It urged Ankara to cancel the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia and proposed sanctions should Turkey accept the systems’ delivery, which could come in July and, the resolution states, undermine NATO, of which Turkey is a member.

Turkey’s foreign ministry responded that the resolution’s language was “unfounded” and “unfair,” according to Reuters.

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“It is unacceptable to take decisions which do not serve to increase mutual trust, to continue to keep the language of threats and sanctions on the agenda and to set various artificial deadlines,” the foreign ministry said, according to the news service.

Turkey also plans to buy Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters from the U.S., but the deal with Russia could interfere with the agreement, according to the U.S. It comes amid other tensions with the nation including disagreements over Syria and Iran and the detention of U.S. consular staff, according to Reuters.

“We rarely see it in foreign affairs, but this is a black and white issue. There is no middle ground. Either [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan cancels the Russian deal, or he doesn’t,” Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelEngel draws primary challenger in NY Engel draws primary challenger in NY Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on the House floor on Monday.

“There is no future for Turkey having both Russian weapons and American F-35s. There’s no third option.”

Last week, Erdogan said retreating from the Russian buy was “out of the question,” according to Reuters. U.S. officials said that F-35 training for Turkish pilots on an Arizona air base had been ended prematurely amid the S-400 dispute.