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Turkey to look for alternatives if US doesn't deliver F-35s

Published
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's foreign minister says his country could look "elsewhere" if the U.S. doesn't deliver F-35 fighter jets.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also said in an interview with private NTV television Tuesday that Turkey could consider acquiring more Russian-made S-400s or other systems to meet urgent needs if it can't purchase U.S. Patriot systems.

Turkey's moves to buy the Russian S-400 technology have heightened tensions with Washington. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned that Turkey was risking its NATO membership and its participation in the F-35 program.

Cavusoglu said: "If F-35s are not delivered, I would be placed in a position to buy the planes I need elsewhere."

He added that a new U.S. offer to sell Patriots was "more rational" than a previous offer, but still didn't meet Turkey's expectations.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)