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Pompeo speaks with Turkish counterpart following US sanctions

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke this week with his Turkish counterpart surrounding the decision by President Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase last year of a Russian missile defense system, the secretary said Thursday.

President Trump on Monday announced that the U.S. would impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase last year of the Russian S-400 missile defense system as required under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which became law in August 2017.

Pompeo wrote on Twitter Thursday that he spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu this week and said that the imposing of sanctions demonstrates that “the U.S. will fully implement [CAATSA] and prevent Russia from receiving revenue, access, and influence.”

State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said the secretary further stressed that the sanctions were not meant to undermine Turkey’s military capabilities or combat readiness, which is a NATO ally, but urged Turkey to “resolve the S-400 issue” as part of its commitment and obligations to the alliance.

Turkey had reacted strongly to the imposition of sanctions on Monday, condemning the action in a lengthy statement and saying that Ankara would “take the necessary steps against this decision… in a manner and timing it deems appropriate.”

The imposition of sanctions on Turkey was welcomed by bipartisan members of Congress, which had passed last week legislation requiring the Trump administration to impose sanctions related to Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system within at least one month of the bill becoming law.

Members of both parties in Congress are raising the alarm that Turkey’s increasing provocative action in the region and involvement in regional conflicts are threatening the U.S.-Turkish alliance and NATO alliance.

The chair and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Wednesday issued a joint statement calling for more coordinated action confronting Turkey’s behavior and for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to “end” provocative moves that are threatening its alliance with the U.S.

“While we continue to see real value in a strong U.S.-Turkey relationship, its destabilizing actions need to be more strongly addressed and the United States must work with its European and NATO allies and partners to continue to use all of the tools at their disposal to demand that Turkey reverse course,” Engel and McCaul said.

“We strongly urge President Erdogan to put an end to Turkey’s provocative behavior so the United States and Turkey can once again enjoy a close and cooperative relationship built on mutual security interests, a strong commitment to NATO, and shared democratic values.”

Tags Donald Trump Eliot Engel Michael McCaul Mike Pompeo Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Russia sanctions Turkey

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