Turkey to buy Russian missiles despite US ‘threats’

Turkey said once a pact is signed they have to respect it. (AFP/File)
Updated 05 May 2019

Turkey to buy Russian missiles despite US ‘threats’

  • US said they will stop the F-35 program with Turkey if they proceed with S-400 missile purchase
  • Turkey officials said first delivery of Russian missiles will come in June to July

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Sunday dismissed US threats of sanctions if it went ahead with a Russian missile purchase, saying it would not renege on a pledge to Moscow.
Washington has warned its NATO ally for months that Ankara’s adoption of Russian S-400 missile technology alongside US F-35 fighters would pose a threat to the jets and endanger Western defense.
The US has said it will halt a joint F-35 program with Turkey if it acquires the Russian missile defense system. A US law furthermore provides for sanctions on any country concluding arms deals with Russian companies.
“The US threats of sanctions shows that they don’t know Turkey,” Vice President Fuat Oktay told Kanal 7 television.
“The decision on the S-400 has been taken. Once a pact has been signed, one’s word given, Turkey respects it,” he said.
The S-400 purchase is one dispute fueling tensions between two nations also at odds over US support for Syrian Kurdish militias which Ankara brands as terrorists and Turkish backing for US foe Venezuela.
Ankara said the first deliveries of the S-400 are scheduled for June or July.
Last month, after repeated warnings, the United States said Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 system was incompatible with it remaining part of the emblematic F-35 jet program.
Turkey had planned to buy 100 F-35A fighter jets, with pilots already training in the United States.
Washington has placed a freeze on the joint manufacturing operations with Turkey, and suggested Ankara might be able to obtain a US missile defense system if it forgoes the one on offer from Moscow.

Egypt accuses UN of seeking to ‘politicize’ Morsi death

Updated 25 min 51 sec ago

Egypt accuses UN of seeking to ‘politicize’ Morsi death

  • Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said the UN is trying to politicize a natural death
  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an independent investigation into the death of Morsi

CAIRO: Egypt accused the United Nations on Wednesday of seeking to “politicize” the death of the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi by calling for an “independent inquiry.”

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said he condemned “in the strongest terms” the call by the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, for an independent investigation into Morsi’s death during a court hearing on Monday.

Hafez said it was a “deliberate attempt to politicize a case of natural death.”

Colville called Tuesday for a probe into whether the conditions Morsi faced during his nearly six years in custody had contributed to his death.

“Any sudden death in custody must be followed by a prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation carried out by an independent body to clarify the cause of death,” he said.

“Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr. Morsi’s detention, including access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family,” Colville added.

He said the investigation must “encompass all aspects of the authorities’ treatment of Mr. Morsi to examine whether the conditions of his detention had an impact on his death.”

Morsi was toppled by then army chief, now President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2013 after a single divisive year in power. He was later charged with an array of offenses including espionage.

Since his ouster, authorities have waged an ongoing crackdown on dissent of all kinds that has seen thousands of Brotherhood supporters jailed and hundreds facing death sentences.

A group of British parliamentarians in March 2018 warned Morsi’s detention conditions, particularly inadequate treatment for his diabetes and liver disease, could trigger “premature death.”