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UK Ministers Visit Turkey, Discuss Fighter Jet Deals, NATO Policy

In advance of a significant summit of the alliance next week, UK ministers traveled to Turkey on Thursday to discuss NATO policy and potential sales of military hardware.

Ben Wallace and Liz Truss of the UK visited Ankara a few days after the high-level visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an effort to persuade Turkey to change its position on Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

Due to what it perceives as Stockholm’s support for illegal Kurdish organisations, Turkey opposes the entrance of Sweden and Finland to the alliance.

Abdullah Ocalan, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which Turkey considers being a terrorist group, was depicted by Kurdish activists at a rally in Sweden earlier in June.

Ankara responded to the protests by stating that it would prevent Sweden from joining NATO. This outraged US politicians, who have threatened to terminate an agreement to sell Turkey F-16 fighter fighters.

READ MORE: Turkey Raids Iranian Cell Reportedly Targeting Israeli Tourists

After purchasing Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems in defiance of US sanctions, Turkey was also dropped from the F-35 jet program.

Wallace met Hulusi Akar in Ankara as part of negotiations between the UK and Turkey. In light of speculations that the F-16 contract may be in jeopardy, the UK is apparently pushing for sales of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

A $6 billion Typhoon agreement was inked in 2017 by Qatar, a significant Turkish supporter.

A UK Ministry of Defense spokesman said: “The defense secretary is meeting his counterpart in Turkey today for routine bilateral talks on cooperation and security issues ahead of the NATO summit next week.”

The NATO summit, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and Liz Truss, the UK’s foreign secretary, met with prominent Turkish politicians, including foreign minister Melut Cavusoglu.

The visit takes place in the midst of a diplomatic frenzy in the area. Following the Saudi summit, the foreign minister of Israel also traveled to Ankara.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the UK visit to discuss defense cooperation and the war in Ukraine.

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In advance of a significant summit of the alliance next week, UK ministers traveled to Turkey on Thursday to discuss NATO policy and potential sales of military hardware.

Ben Wallace and Liz Truss of the UK visited Ankara a few days after the high-level visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an effort to persuade Turkey to change its position on Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

Due to what it perceives as Stockholm’s support for illegal Kurdish organisations, Turkey opposes the entrance of Sweden and Finland to the alliance.

Abdullah Ocalan, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which Turkey considers being a terrorist group, was depicted by Kurdish activists at a rally in Sweden earlier in June.

Ankara responded to the protests by stating that it would prevent Sweden from joining NATO. This outraged US politicians, who have threatened to terminate an agreement to sell Turkey F-16 fighter fighters.

READ MORE: Turkey Raids Iranian Cell Reportedly Targeting Israeli Tourists

After purchasing Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems in defiance of US sanctions, Turkey was also dropped from the F-35 jet program.

Wallace met Hulusi Akar in Ankara as part of negotiations between the UK and Turkey. In light of speculations that the F-16 contract may be in jeopardy, the UK is apparently pushing for sales of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

A $6 billion Typhoon agreement was inked in 2017 by Qatar, a significant Turkish supporter.

A UK Ministry of Defense spokesman said: “The defense secretary is meeting his counterpart in Turkey today for routine bilateral talks on cooperation and security issues ahead of the NATO summit next week.”

The NATO summit, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and Liz Truss, the UK’s foreign secretary, met with prominent Turkish politicians, including foreign minister Melut Cavusoglu.

The visit takes place in the midst of a diplomatic frenzy in the area. Following the Saudi summit, the foreign minister of Israel also traveled to Ankara.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the UK visit to discuss defense cooperation and the war in Ukraine.

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