Nov 21 2017

Erdoğan’s “interests are served by a bad U.S. relationship” - former ambassador

The United States should not bother trying to convince Turkey to drop its order of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no interest in reconciling with Washington, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey said.

“This is another fool’s errand,” Eric Edelman told the Washington Post.

“It won’t succeed because Erdoğan has no interest in pursuing this. His interests are served by a bad U.S. relationship. That’s why the Turkish government keeps whipping up anti-American sentiment in the press.”

U.S. law requires President Donald Trump’s administration to sanction Turkey by cutting off all arms sales to the country for making purchases from a banned Russian firm, the newspaper said, meaning the cancellation of Turkey’s order of F-35 stealth fighter jets from U.S. firm Lockheed Martin.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was unmoved by Turkey’s weapons purchase from Russia. “That’s a sovereign decision for Turkey,” he said.

But Ben Cardin, a senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Washington Post that “the administration understands (the S-400 deal) is actionable.”

“Our relationship with Turkey is really getting awful,” he said.