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US foreign policy

US hits out at Turkey after Erdogan doubles down on threats, criticism

Erdogan also hinted at the possibility of buying ships and submarines from Russia.

Published: Updated:

The US hit out at Ankara Thursday after the latest rant from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erodgan, who has been criticizing Washington and accusing it of supporting terrorism for the last several days.

Washington said they had seen the reports and comments from Erdogan, a State Department spokesperson told Al Hurra on Thursday.

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But the US has warned Turkey “at all levels” not to keep the S-400 system and to refrain from any further purchases, the official was quoted as saying.

The official also said new sanctions would be imposed for more purchases.

Last week, Erdogan was quoted as saying that his country would purchase more Russian weapons and accused the US of supporting terrorists. He also said ties with the Biden administration had “not start off right.”

Asked about his comments, a State Department official told Al Arabiya English last week that the US considered Turkey “to be an ally and friend.”

“Even when we disagree, we seek opportunities to strengthen our longstanding bilateral partnership,” the official, speaking on background, said.

And this week, Erdogan doubled down on his criticism of Washington during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After meeting Putin in Sochi, Erdogan said Turkey was looking to increase its defense relationship with Russia, adding that he would not back down from buying the S-400 missile defense system.

The Russian-made S-400s are deemed incompatible with NATO’s partners.

Erdogan also hinted at the possibility of buying ships and submarines from Russia.

Nevertheless, Erdogan and US President Joe Biden are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit next month. The Turkish president said he would raise the issue of the F-35 jets it purchased but was subsequently kicked out of due to its purchase of the S-400s and US sanctions.

Separately, Biden’s nominee to become the next ambassador to Turkey warned Ankara against more purchases of Russian weapons.

“I will also warn Turkey that any future purchase of Russian weapons risks triggering further CAATSA sanctions in addition to those already imposed,” Jeff Flake said during a testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

Read more: Biden taps former Republican senator, opposed to Trump, as US ambassador to Turkey