Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (C), Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu (R) and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz attend a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, on April 19, 2019. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his Romanian and Polish counterparts on Friday that Turkey understands NATO's concerns over its procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense missiles. (Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya)
ANKARA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that Turkey understands NATO's concerns over its procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense missiles.
"We are aware of NATO's concerns. It is not right to say that Turkey is not considering them," Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his Romanian and Polish counterparts in Ankara, adding that Turkey needs air defense systems urgently.
His remarks came after the U.S. government claimed that Turkey's adoption of Russian missiles could cause security risk on F-35 jets and NATO defense system, and threatened to suspend the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey unless it scraps the S-400 deal.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey offered the United States to form a working group to determine whether the S-400 missiles pose a threat to the F-35 fighter jets.
"There are S-400s in Syria and F-35 jets have flown over them repeatedly. If those claims are true, the missile systems would have already gathered enough information about the aircraft," Cavusoglu said.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that Turkey's procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense systems is a national security deal, criticizing the United States for halting the F-35 deliveries.