U.S. President Donald Trump said Turkey wanted to purchase U.S. military equipment and will look for alternatives if Washington refuses to deliver the F-35 fighter jets to its NATO ally, APA reports citing Dailysabah.
Speaking ahead of the NATO Summit in London, Trump told reporters: "Turkey bought billions and billions worth of F-35 fighter jets. If the U.S. refuses to deliver, Turkey will explore other options."
The U.S. president also praised Turkey's role in the military operation that killed Daesh ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying the country "couldn't be nicer, more supportive, very helpful."
Turkish officials said multiple times that the country has fulfilled its responsibilities as one of the partner countries in the F-35 program and will be looking for alternatives if the U.S. fails to deliver F-35 fighter jets.
Turkey's acquisition of the advanced Russian S-400 air defense system prompted the U.S. administration to remove Turkey from the F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter program in July.
The U.S. maintains that the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the jet and is incompatible with NATO systems.
Turkey, however, counters that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.