Trump invites all Republican senators to discuss Turkey sanctions

U.S. President Donald Trump invited all Republican senators to the White House next week for a meeting on potential sanctions to be imposed on Turkey over the purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Turkey last week started receiving the delivery of the Russian surface-to-air missile systems despite objections of the United States, which has concerns that the S-400s could access sensitive data on F-35 stealth fighter jets.

The meeting between Trump and GOP senators will take place on Tuesday, the Washington Post said. The topic listed on the invite, distributed to senators “on behalf of President Trump,” is “Turkey sanctions,”, according to the newspaper.

Trump this week said the United States would cancel the delivery of 100 F-35 jets Turkey purchased, while the Pentagon announced that Turkey’s participation in the F-35 joint strike fighter programme had been suspended.

There is bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for further sanctions to be imposed on Turkey under  the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), but Trump said on Thursday that the U.S. administration was not looking at sanctions on Turkey right now. He later contradicted that statement, saying such an option was under consideration.  

Republican senators Rick Scott and Todd C. Young this week introduced a resolution which calls for full implementation of sanctions under CAATSA, describing Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air and missile defence system as a threat to the U.S. national security and the NATO alliance.