President Donald Trump said Wednesday that a dispute with Turkey over its purchase of a Russian anti-aircraft missile system “will work out fine.”
Trump made the comment to reporters as he met at the White House with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The leaders didn’t offer any indication of how the differences between the countries would be resolved.
The Russian S-400 system, which Turkey began purchasing earlier this year, was designed to shoot down U.S. and allied aircraft at greater ranges and altitudes than older systems. U.S. officials are concerned that sensitive technology in its advanced F-35 fighter plane designed to evade such a system could be compromised and used to improve the Russian air defense system if Turkey, a NATO member, has both.
Top Pentagon officials have repeatedly said Turkey will not be able to participate in the U.S. F-35 program if the country continues with its deployment of the S-400. That position has been bolstered with bipartisan support among U.S. lawmakers, who have denounced Erdogan’s tightening embrace of Russia.