Secretary of State Tillerson warns Turkey over drift from NATO
U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson has made it clear to Turkey that his country believes that closer ties with Russia and Iran are incompatible with its good standing in NATO.
“We ask Turkey as a NATO ally to prioritize the common defence of its treaty allies,” Tillerson said, according to Bloomberg.
“Iran and Russia cannot offer the Turkish people the economic benefits” of the West, he also said.
The statement came in the aftermath of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Sochi in Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Another factor causing concern in Washington was the recent confirmation by Turkey’s defence minister, Nurettin Canıklı, that Turkey would purchase Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.