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Turkey Says Will Retaliate If US Halts Arms Sales

Turkey Says Will Retaliate If US Halts Arms SalesTurkey Says Will Retaliate If US Halts Arms Sales

Turkey will retaliate if the United States enacts a proposed law that would halt weapons sales to the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives released details on Friday of a $717 billion annual defense policy bill, including a measure to temporarily halt weapons sales to Turkey, Reuters reported.

In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said the measures in the bill were wrong, illogical and not fitting between the NATO allies. “If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate,” Cavusoglu said. “What needs to be done is the US needs to let go of this.”

The proposed US National Defense Authorization Act, which is several steps from becoming law, would ask the Defense Department to provide congress with a report on the relationship between the United States and Turkey, and would block the sale of major defense equipment until the report was complete.

Turkey plans to buy more than 100 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, and is also in talks with Washington over the purchase of Patriot missiles. Turkey signed an agreement with Russia in December to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries as part of Ankara’s plans to boost its defense capabilities amid threats from militants at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

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