US President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan were not able to find a solution during their meeting earlier this week on the long-standing dispute between the two NATO allies over Ankara's purchase of Russian defense missile systems, Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday.
In a briefing with reporters, Sullivan said there was a commitment to continue the dialogue on the issue that the teams from both countries would be following up on that.
President Erdogan said he had told US President Biden at their first meeting that Turkey would not change its stance on its Russian S-400 missile defenses over which Washington sanctioned Ankara, state media reported on Thursday.
Biden and Erdogan sounded upbeat after their face-to-face talks on Monday, although the NATO allies did not announce any major breakthroughs in disputes including the S-400s, Syria and other issues.
Ankara's purchase of the S-400s has strained ties with the United States and NATO allies over concerns that the systems are not compatible with the alliance's defenses and may threaten the US F-35 fighter jets. Turkey, which was expelled from the jet program over the Russian systems, rejects the concerns.
"I told (Biden) that they should not expect Turkey to take a different step on the F-35 and S-400 issues because we did what we had to for the F-35s and gave the necessary money," Erdogan told reporters on a return flight from Azerbaijan.
"We must monitor developments closely. We will be following up on all our rights,” he said. "In the next period, our foreign ministers, defense ministers and defense industry chairs will be moving this process forward by meeting with their counterparts.”
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