(RTTNews) – Talks between Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Chicago failed to make any progress on the sale of armed drones to Turkey.
Turkey seeks to buy armed drones from the United States, but the request has turned out to be controversial, with some in the U.S. Congress refusing to agree to a sale of the unmanned aircraft in the context of Ankara’s deteriorating relations with Israel, a close U.S. ally. The U.S. administration is reportedly willing to sell the drones to Turkey and is trying to persuade Congress not to block the sale, Turkish media reports said on Tuesday.
Gül reportedly told Obama during the meeting that Turkey expected the U.S. to meet its needs for fighting terrorism. But the two leaders could not make any progress on the sale of American drones to Turkey. Obama reportedly told Gül that he understood Turkey’s needs and the sale of the drones was in his administration’s agenda, but he made it clear that he could not strike a deal on the issue bypassing the Congress, the reports said.
Debate over the planned sale has heated up lately after a U.S. report claimed that American drones provided wrong information on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), resulting in the killing of 34 civilians in bombings by Turkish warplanes across the Turkish-Iraqi border after mistaking them for PKK rebels.
Gül told a group of journalists ahead of his talks that the proposed sale would come up at the meeting with Obama. He argued that “if the sale of reapers is sensitive,” that same should hold true for F-35 jet fighter, which are even “more dangerous.” The U.S. has agreed to share F-35 technology with Turkey, the reports said.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, and Turkish Ambassador to Washington Namik Tan were also present during the 30-minute talks.
Gül asked Obama to be on the front lines in the international community to help put an end to the 14 months of violence in Syria, and Obama assured Gül that the U.S. was doing what was necessary on the issue. He also said Foreign Ministers of both countries and relevant bodies were working together on the Syria crisis.
Syria is facing serious challenges because of an influx of refugees from neighboring Syria because of continued crackdowns by the Assad regime on anti-government protesters there. Turkey is now sheltering more than 25,000 Syrian refugees on its territory.
by RTT Staff Writer
via No Progress On Sale Of US Drones To Turkey.