Erdogan: I expressed to Macron our concern about arms sales in Greece

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the Turkish Cypriot Parliament, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, July 19, 2021. Erdogan is in the Turkish northern breakaway part of Cyprus for a two-day visit.(Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey would take “positive steps” with France and Italy on the SAMP-T missile defence system developed by the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium.

Ankara, which has incurred U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence batteries, has also discussed in recent years acquiring or developing a system based on the SAMP-T, but has so far made little apparent progress.

Erdogan was speaking to reporters following the G20 summit in Rome, where he met with Italiam Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We talked with the American president about the modernization of our F-16s and maybe about the purchase of new ones. “I found a positive approach,” Erdogan said. However, as he added, no reference was made to the eastern Mediterranean.

As for his conversation with French President Macron, he stressed that special reference was made to Libya and to the international conference that Paris is preparing to organize on November 12. The situation in Afghanistan and Syria was also discussed at the meeting.

“We also expressed our concern about the sale of weapons in Greece. “We spoke openly, with a broad agenda,” Erdogan said.

Referring to his bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the Turkish President stressed:

“After today’s discussions, I think we can do important things. “Especially in terms of the defense industry and the increase in trade between our two countries.”

Source: Reuters