June 13, 2019 / 3:46 PM / 2 months ago

Erdogan spokesman Kalin says discussed F-35 letter with Bolton on phone

ANKARA, June 13 (Reuters) - Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday he spoke on the phone with President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton to discuss a letter sent by the Pentagon about Ankara’s removal from the F-35 jets program.

Washington has warned Turkey against buying and installing Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara following a cabinet meeting, Kalin said he hoped the Pentagon would abandon its current attitude towards Turkey, which he said could permanently damage ties between the two NATO allies.

U.S. Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan last week sent his Turkish counterpart a letter warning that Ankara would be pulled out of the F-35 jet programme unless it changes course from its plans to install the S-400 defences.

Kalin also said Erdogan was set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of June during the G20 meeting in Japan.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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