ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet at next month’s Group of 20 summit to discuss bilateral issues, including Ankara’s plan to buy a Russian missile defense system that has raised the ire of the United States.
In a tweet Wednesday, Erdogan’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that in a phone call with Trump, Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s offer for a joint group to overcome an impasse with the U.S. on Turkey’s pledge to buy Russian-made S-400 missiles.
U.S. officials said the S-400s would pose a risk to Turkey’s F-35 fighter jet program and warned Ankara it risked being kicked out of the F-35 program and could face U.S. sanctions.
Erdogan also welcomed the U.S. decision this month to drop additional tariffs on Turkish steel. Trump had doubled the tariffs to 50% in August amid a diplomatic spat over the imprisonment of an American pastor.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said the two leaders discussed increasing trade, the reduction of steel tariffs to 25% from 50% and the S-400 missile defense system.
The G-20 summit of leaders from the developed and developing worlds is in Osaka, Japan June 28-29.