Turkish defense minister says recent talks with Greek counterpart ‘constructive’

Turkish defense minister says recent talks with Greek counterpart ‘constructive’

Turkey’s defense minister has described his recent talks with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, as very constructive and honest and said all issues were discussed in an open manner.

In an interview with the Milliyet daily, Hulusi Akar added that he hoped both sides will take measures to resolve these issues.

Referring to the negotiations with the US for the upgrade of F-16s, he said the talks were continuing, adding that the US Department of Defense has been very honest from the outset.

“We made the application and said we want spare parts for 40 planes and more and we are waiting for your support. Since then the administration has supported it and there is a parliamentary dimension. If necessary, the president can say ‘give them’. Will he say that or not?,” Akar said.

“Right now there are very important statements from retired generals and some politicians. They say that what Senator Menendez did in refusing was wrong and acted against the interests of the United States.”

“Our main argument is ‘a strong Turkey, a strong NATO.’ The secretary general of NATO also accepts this. Now, there is a trend in NATO for member states to spend more money on equipment to make the alliance stronger. Other countries say no. We say we are ready. We are ready to pay and they say ‘we will not give it to you.’”

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