In a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held forth on the S-400 air defence system deal and how his government is trying to deal with the US sanctions under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), sources said.
India and Turkey are both buyers of the air defence system from Russia, but are facing a threat of sanctions from the US for buying Russian defence equipment. India has said that it will be guided by its own national interest, and Turkey too has decided to go ahead with the S-400 deal.
Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the discussions held by Modi and Erdogan focused on trade and investment, defence, counter-terrorism, IT, and civil aviation.
“The two leaders discussed fence manufacturing, explored trade opportunities, decided to hold the joint economic committee, and increase flights for more people-to-people exchanges,” Kumar said.
The Prime Minister’s Office in a tweet said, “The interactions in Osaka continue. A productive meeting with President @RTErdogan on the sidelines of the #G20 Summit. Both leaders talked about the strong development partnership between India and Turkey.”
However, US President Donald Trump, who also met Erdogan on Saturday, was much more cautious about sanctions on Turkey owing to the S-400 deal.
When asked, Trump said, “We have a complicated situation because the (Turkey’s) President was not allowed to buy the (American) Patriot missiles. So when he bought the other ones — the S-200s or 400s — when he bought them, he wanted to do this (buy the Patriot missiles), but he wasn’t allowed by the Obama administration to buy them until after he made a deal to buy other missiles. So he buys the other missile (the S-400s) and then, all of a sudden, they (the US Congress) say, ‘Well, you can now buy our missile.’ You don’t — you can’t do business that way. It’s not good. It’s not good.”
Trump said that they are looking at “different solutions”. He said, “It’s a problem, there’s no question about it. We’re looking at different solutions”.
He added that Turkey is a NATO member, and “I don’t think he (Erdogan) was treated fairly”.