Nuland Mentions Green Light for F-35 in Case Turkiye Solves S-400
U.S. Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland recently visited Türkiye upon the invitation of Deputy Foreign Minister Ambassador Burak Akçapar to discuss the Türkiye-US Strategic Mechanism.
Following the meeting, Büşra Arslantaş from CNNTurk had an exclusive interview with Nuland. Even though Nuland delivered the interview in English, it was aired in simultaneous Turkish translation. TurDef shares the re-translated version.
Speaking about Sweden's membership in NATO, and her visit to Turkiye immediately, Nuland said, "Finland's participation adds two new countries to NATO. This strengthens our alliance. We also welcome Turkiye's joining us by saying 'yes' to Sweden." she stated her mission in Turkiye as, "Secretary Blinken asked me to do was reinvigorate the rest of our relationship and get back to talking about what we need to do in 2024, including preparing for the NATO summit in Washington in July. "
When asked about the sale of new F-16s and modernisation of F-16s, Nuland reminded us that the notification period will end 15 days from Friday at the Congress, "and we will start implementing it," she said.
Answering a question about delivery timing and potential delays, Nuland reminded us that the agreement has several parts, and the modernisation would begin immediately. "it is evident that Turkiye's acquisition of these jets is a priority for the U.S.," she underlined.
When asked about probable F-35 acquisition and Turkiye's return to the F-35 program, Nuland said, "CAATSA sanctions were related to your government's decision to purchase S-400 air defence systems from the Russian Federation. This is what triggered the CAATSA sanctions."
When reminded that Turkiye could not receive patriots from the U.S. because it did not meet the requested conditions, Nuland said, "We were in the process of negotiating the Patriot sale, and while those negotiations were going on, Turkiye went in another direction. That's why we had some talks today. Frankly, if we can resolve this S-400 issue, which we want to do, the U.S. would be pleased to welcome Turkiye back into the F-35 family. But first, we must solve this other issue, and while we solve it, we must also ensure that Turkiye has a strong air defence."
When asked about a formula for a solution to Turkiye, Nuland said, "If we can overcome this issue, the CAATSA issue will disappear, and we can return to F-35 conversations."
Turkiye to produce 155 shells for Ukraine
She also said that he had the opportunity to meet with U.S. businesses, "we are working on some big deals. I hope these bear fruit. We also started working again in the defence industry. Türkiye now produces 155mm ammunition. We need this very much. Ukraine needs it very much. We are working on this. We're also working on other types of defence trade initiatives where we can work together."
She also stated that the U.S. will stay in Syria. "Let me make this clear. The U.S. is not withdrawing from Syria," she said.
When asked about Israel's attacks in Gaza, Nuland stated the U.S.' position as "It's important to remember how this all started. It started with a brutal attack on Israel by Hamas on Israeli soil. Of course, Israel responded. Now, there is a situation that puts innocent civilians in great danger. We are working intensively with the Israelis to ensure that humanitarian aid can enter Gaza. So that people can be protected as much as possible. " she conditioned the assistance with a hostage agreement between Hamas and Israel.