US: We Did Not Aim at Affecting The Turkish Defence Sector as a Whole
US Ambassador to Turkey David M. Satterfield spoke for the first time openly about Turkish – US relations to Turkish media since his assignment. TurDef attended to ambassador Satterfield’s press briefing.
Ambassador spoke about bilateral issues, regional problems, international issues. He explained US position on S-400 and CAATSA. The act is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The sanction is imposed to Turkey as Turkey acquired Russian S-400 air defence system.
Ambassador Satterfield pointed out the strength of bilateral relations. He said in sum;
Key Relations; Defence and Trade
We value highly the relationship with Turkey. In all of its dimensions. The security relationship, Turkey is valuable and essential NATO partner, strategic ally. The economic, commercial relationship with Turkey. We have over 30 billion USD of investment here in Turkey. The volume of bilateral trade exceeds 20 billion USD. 1700 US companies engaged in work here in Turkey. We employ well over 75 thousand Turks in these business. This is an important relationship for the United States. This is important relationship for Turkey, for Turks and for Americans. And the relationship’s security dimension in its economic commercial dimension. You know the previous administration had set an aspirational goal of hundred billion dollar of trade. It was a very ambitious target. But it was designed to be ambitious. We continue to do all we can to promote US business, to promote Turkish business in the United States.
Economy is Important
We have always been confident in the fundamental strength of Turkish economy. But they are strengths that need to be realised, need to be utilised, needs to be moved back of through credible, transparent and predictable fiscal and monetary policies. Those are not my three words. Those are the words of the new governor of the Central Bank and the new of Minister of Finance. We couldn't do anything more than reinforcing their reports from the step point of the International market and the Turkish market.
Defence Sector is Not Targeted
With regard to the bilateral issues between our two countries. The S-400 issue regrettably compelled the previous US administration to execute US law and impose sanctions under the CAATSA legislation. But we targeted on that sanction very precisely.We did not aim at affecting the Turkish defence sector as a whole, but rather specific licences to SSB (Presidency of Defence Industries). We had worked well over a year to be possible achieve another satisfactory resolution to the problem created by Turkish air position of the S 400. In the end, it was impossible. And we implemented US law.
CAATSA is a Law, Nothing to Discuss
As of end of January, the National Defence Authorization Act of requires that in order for those cuts and sanctions to be waved. That Turkey not being in possession of S-400. This is the law of the United States. I want to clarify here, that there is no study group, working group, nor there will be. This is an issue of executing US statute and US law. We hope that the issue of S-400 can be resolved. But if it cannot be. We will continue to focus on all the areas of cooperation. They are not directly affected of the sanctions which we put into place.
Ambassador Satterfield was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey on June 27, 2019.