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02:01

Thailand: ‘We have no issue with NATO’ - Turkish FM Cavusoglu *PARTNER CONTENT* *EXCLUSIVE*

Thailand, Bangkok
July 30, 2019 at 08:47 GMT +00:00 · Published

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed Syria and the delivery of the S-400 missile defence system to Turkey on the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok on Tuesday.

He stated that the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee will be on top of the agenda at the next Astana format peace talks in Kazakhstan's Nur-Sultan between August 1-2.

Asked about the delivery of Russian S-400 missile defence system and the effect it has on Turkey's relations with its transatlantic partners, the diplomat said that "with regards to the S-400s and other issues, it is no problem to NATO."

"It is more a bilateral issue between Turkey and the United States. It is not an issue between Turkey and NATO," Cavusoglu concluded.

The Trump administration has threatened Turkey with sanctions over the acquisition of the S-400 system.

Washington also said it was removing Ankara from its F-35 fighter jets programme after Turkey received the first parts of the S-400 system in mid-July.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed Syria and the delivery of the S-400 missile defence system to Turkey on the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok on Tuesday.

He stated that the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee will be on top of the agenda at the next Astana format peace talks in Kazakhstan's Nur-Sultan between August 1-2.

Asked about the delivery of Russian S-400 missile defence system and the effect it has on Turkey's relations with its transatlantic partners, the diplomat said that "with regards to the S-400s and other issues, it is no problem to NATO."

"It is more a bilateral issue between Turkey and the United States. It is not an issue between Turkey and NATO," Cavusoglu concluded.

The Trump administration has threatened Turkey with sanctions over the acquisition of the S-400 system.

Washington also said it was removing Ankara from its F-35 fighter jets programme after Turkey received the first parts of the S-400 system in mid-July.

SOT, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister: "We discussed bilateral issues, Syria, some other regional issues, our cooperation [INAUDIBLE]

Reporter: "What about Syria? What is the progress?"

Cavusoglu: "The Astana meeting will take place in two days' time in Nur-Sultan. This time (UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir) Pedersen cannot come but the UN will be there. So after that meeting we will get together again to discuss those crucial issues including the situation in Idlib."

Reporter: "What do you expect?"

Cavusoglu: "We need to maintain the calm. We need to pay more attention to the political process and establishment of the constitutional committee, which we also discussed. It will be very crucial and we are working together to announce the establishment of the committee as soon as possible."

Reporter: "And Turkish relations with NATO…"

Cavusoglu: "We have no problem with NATO."

Reporter: "I know that national security council of your country today is having an emergency meeting."

Cavusoglu: "No, it's not an emergency meeting. It was fixed at the end of last meeting. But this is one of the items. We have no issue with NATO. Secondly, when you look at the statement of the Secretary General, and even the Deputy Secretary General with regards to the S-400s and other issues, it is no problem to NATO. Turkey has been contributing to the activities of NATO in many areas and Turkey is in top five in its contribution to NATO, so it has been never raised, neither at NATO ministerial [meetings], or [at] NATO summits. We will have next NATO summit in December in London, so it is more of a bilateral issue between Turkey and the United States. It is not an issue between Turkey and NATO."

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