Le Figaro: the Pentagon is waiting for Ankara’s explanation after Erdogan’s threats to close NATO bases

Le Figaro: глава Пентагона ждёт от Анкары объяснений после угроз Эрдогана закрыть базы НАТО

The Secretary of defense mark Esper said in an interview that he considers necessary to meet with his Turkish counterpart to discuss the possible closure of the two strategic NATO bases, writes Le Figaro. The publication notes that thus Turkey has threatened to respond in the event of the imposition of American economic sanctions for the purchase of Russian air defense systems s-400.

The Secretary of defense mark Esper wants to get from Ankara explanation after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to close two strategic NATO base in the country, according to Le Figaro. As reminds the edition, on Sunday to question the Pro-government Turkish television about possible U.S. sanctions in response to the purchase of Russian air defense systems s-400, Erdogan said that “if necessary,” Turkey could close Incirlik base and Karadzic. On the base in Incirlik in the South of the country, which for decades used the U.S. air force for military operations in the region are about 50 U.S. nuclear warheads and Kurajica are important radar station of NATO.”I need to speak with my colleague from the Ministry of defense (Turkey. — Inotv) to understand what they really mean and how they are serious”, — quotes the French newspaper the statement of the head of the Pentagon, made on Monday while interacting with journalists. According to Mark Esper, “if they (Turkey. — Inotv) really mean that, they are a sovereign country, so they have the inalienable right to host or not to host NATO bases and foreign troops,” but in this case, “it becomes an issue that affects the entire Alliance, and their obligations to the Alliance.”In addition, the U.S. defense Secretary expressed regret about the chosen policy of distancing Ankara from NATO and rapprochement with Russia. Le Figaro notes that Turkish-American relations deteriorated after the purchase by Ankara s-400 despite the protests of the United States, who believe the system is incompatible with NATO weapons. The tension between the two countries increased when Turkey contrary to Washington launched a military invasion of North-East Syria, joining the fight against American allies-Kurds for the sake of victory over the “Islamic state.”* Recently the U.S. Congress approved a law funding the military for 2020, which provides for the mandatory imposition of economic sanctions against Ankara.

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