Trump to confront Turkey about buying Russian defense system
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Trump to confront Turkey about buying Russian defense system

US president will challenge Erdogan on S-400 when he visits White House this week, national security adviser says

In this photo from July 11, 2018, US President Donald Trump, left, talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they arrive together for a family photo at a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
In this photo from July 11, 2018, US President Donald Trump, left, talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they arrive together for a family photo at a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — US President Donald Trump will confront Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his decision to buy a Russian air defense system when they meet this week at the White House amid strained relations between the two NATO allies.

Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said Sunday that the United States is still “very upset” by Turkey’s move to purchase the Russian S-400 system. The US says the system is not compatible with NATO forces and could compromise the F-35 fighter jet program and aid Russian intelligence. The Trump administration removed Turkey from the F-35 program in July.

O’Brien told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that if Turkey doesn’t get rid of the Russian system, Turkey will likely face US sanctions backed by a bipartisan majority in Congress.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Erdogan on Wednesday and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday.

“There’s no place in NATO for the S-400,” O’Brien said. “There’s no place in NATO for significant Russian military purchases. That’s a message that the president will deliver to him very clearly when he’s here in Washington.”

O’Brien added that the US will do everything it can to keep Turkey in NATO.

Turkey has been roundly criticized for its incursion into northern Syria to attack Kurdish forces that were fighting with the US against Islamic State militants. Trump has been denounced for removing US forces from the area before the incursion, but O’Brien claimed the administration did not pave the way for Erdogan’s offensive into Syria.

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