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Acting US defense chief to speak with Turkey's Akar

Acting US defense chief to speak with Turkey's Akar
Defense chief Mark Esper to speak with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar following S-400 delivery

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will speak by telephone with his Turkish counterpart later Friday following Turkey's receipt of Russian S-400 missile defense system components.

The Trump administration has threatened to expel Turkey and Turkish firms from the advanced F-35 jet fighter over concerns the Russian system could be used by Russia to gain sensitive data on the jet.

The U.S. has also threatened sanctions over the S-400 purchase, with Turkey responding that any sanctions would be met in kind.

Local media quoted Esper as saying the U.S. position on the F-35 has not changed.

The Pentagon is expected to brief reporters later Friday on the matter following Esper's conversation with Akar.

Turkey agreed in April 2017 to purchase the S-400 system from Russia following lengthy efforts to purchase an air defense system from the U.S. with no success.

source: News Feed
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