Erdogan renews working group proposal to solve S-400 crisis - Turkish spox

The United States President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a phone conversation to "discuss bilateral and regional matters," the Turkish President's communications director noted on his twitter account on Wednesday. 

Ankara's decision to go ahead with the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system has created a major crisis souring relations with the United States, which sees the presence of Russian systems on allied soil as a threat to NATO hardware. 

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, on Tuesday, stated that S-400 batteries may not arrive Turkey in June, as Erdoğan had predicted, but in later months.

Akar added that the procurement was progressing without problems, and on Wednesday Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted confirming the Turkish minister's statement.

According to several tweets posted by Fahrettin Altun, Erdoğan has reiterated Turkey's proposal of establishing a working group to resolve differences over the purchase of Russian S-400s.

Altun said the two leaders had agreed to a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 in Japan in June. Turkish officials suggested that Trump would visit Turkey in summer, though Washington has not confirmed these claims.

Reuters reported on Tuesday evening that Washington is seriously considering suspending the training of Turkish pilots who are currently receiving instruction on the new F-35 fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

Several bills introduced at the U.S. Congress' both houses in recent months foresee banning the American-made F-35s from going to Turkey if Ankara does not change its mind about the purchase of the S-400 systems. Erdoğan, however, has been unequivocal in a series of statements declaring that the deal with go ahead.