NATO endorses Turkey's joint S-400 working group proposal - foreign minister

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Friday said NATO welcomed Turkey's bid to form a joint working group to resolve difficulties over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, pro-government Daily Sabah reported.

The Turkish minister also said that the United States had not responded on the subject

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several prominent U.S. senators this month have warned Turkey it will face penalties for buying the S-400s under legislation which calls for sanctions against countries obtaining military equipment from Russia. According to Washington and Ankara’s other NATO allies S-400s can risk the security of F-35 fighter jets, while the Turkish officials reiterate Turkey will take measures to prevent such risks.

"We never found these claims credible. There are S-400s in Syria and F-35 jets have flown over them repeatedly. If those claims are true, those missile systems would have already gathered enough information about the aircrafts," Çavuşoğlu said while speaking at a press conference with his Romanian and Polish counterparts.

Turkey offered the United States to establish a working group of experts to determine possible problems related to compatibility of S-400 air defence systems.

"We still haven't heard back from the United States but NATO has approached our proposal positively," he said.

Relations between the two allies have also been strained over several disputes including U.S. strategy in Syria, sanctions on Iran, Turkey’s requests for the United States to extradite a Muslim cleric Ankara blames for a failed 2016 military coup.