Turkey’s defense minister has affirmed his country’s willingness to allay Washington’s technical concerns regarding the compatibility of its Russian S-400 missile system and the American F-35 fighter jet. Hulusi Akar made his comment during his ministry’s 2021 budget discussions at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara.
Akar explained that Turkey would use the S-400 system, just as some NATO members use the S-300 missiles. He added that Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 system is not an option, but rather a necessity to maintain the country’s security, safety, stability and sovereignty, noting that Turkey is not just a buyer, but also a manufacturer of F-35 fighter jets.
The minister told parliamentarians that the activities of the Turkish Army, Navy and Air Force are continuing as planned, despite the pandemic. He stressed that his country will continue to face attempts to limit Turkey’s activities on its eastern Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.
“We have no ambition to seize anyone’s rights,” Akar insisted, “but we will not allow any party to usurp our rights.” We would rather be martyred than accept the imposition of a fait accompli on us ”.
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In this context, he noted that Turkey has assisted the legitimate government of Libya and has established five training centers there to rehabilitate and enhance the capabilities of the armed forces.
Regarding the peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia after the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh, Akar confirmed that Turkey will participate in the joint peacekeeping mission to monitor the progress and implementation of the agreement. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said, has discussed with his Russian counterpart the terms of the agreement and how to apply them on the ground.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier this week that Azerbaijan and Armenia had agreed to a ceasefire in the Karabakh region. The forces of both countries will remain in their current areas of control.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared that the agreement was a victory for his country and that the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, was forced to accept it by the military reality on the ground. Aliyev explained that the agreement provides for Azerbaijan to regain control of three provinces occupied by Armenia. It will also give Turkey access by land to the Turkish states of Central Asia.