While the meeting between Turkish President Erdogan and EU representatives on Monday March 9 produced no tangible results, for either side, Washington seems to be stepping up its calls to Ankara in an attempt to bring Turkey back into rank, within NATO. After having asked Europeans to soften their positions and to respond to the Turkish request to reinforce the means of air prohibition over the north of Syria, request rejected by Brussels, the American authorities now propose to authorize export of Patriot systems to Ankara on the only condition that Turkey undertakes to fail to operationalize its S-400 missile batteries acquired from Russia.
Washington has so far demanded that Ankara remove these batteries outright from the Turkish inventory, based on the incompatibility of the systems with those of NATO, and above all the fear of seeing the Russian system accumulate valuable information on NATO aircraft during exercises or deployments in the country. Remember that it is also because of the acquisition of these S-400 thatAnkara was excluded from the F35 program this summer. It is therefore a significant relaxation of American positions, since now, the Turkish forces could keep their systems.
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