Turkish and American defense ministry delegations have agreed to continue to hold consultative talks on F-35 fighter jets, said the Defense Ministry on Thursday.
In a statement released following a Türkiye-U.S. meeting in Washington on Thursday, the ministry said the two delegations have agreed to continue to hold talks and plan to hold the next round in Ankara in spring 2023.
Türkiye had ordered more than 100 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp. In 2019, the U.S. suspended Türkiye from the F-35 fighter jet program after objecting to the latter purchasing the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Washington argues that the S-400 air missile systems acquired by Türkiye could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets, besides being incompatible with NATO systems. Türkiye, however, insists that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would hence not pose any threat to the alliance.
The decades-old partnership between the two NATO allies, Türkiye and the U.S., has gone through unprecedented tumult in the past years over disagreements on many issues, including Syria and Ankara’s closer ties with Moscow. There are additional causes of strain for the two countries, including U.S. support for the Syrian branch of the PKK, the YPG, whom Türkiye considers terrorists, and the continued U.S. asylum for Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) figures including its head Fethullah Gülen, who plotted the failed coup attempt against the Turkish government in 2016.