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Turkey removal from F-35 program not legitimate: Turkish foreign ministry

Published: Updated:

Turkey’s removal from the F-35 fighter jet program over its purchase of Russia’s S-400 defense system is not based on a legitimate reason and does not suit ally spirit, the Turkish foreign ministry said on early on Thursday.

In a statement, the foreign ministry called on the United States to return from what it characterized as a mistake, saying it would harm strategic ties between two NATO allies.

In a significant break with a longtime NATO ally, the Trump administration had earlier said Turkey can no longer be part of the American F-35 fighter jet program.

In a written statement, the White House said that Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system “renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.”