US denies ‘working group’ to discuss Turkish sanctions

US denies ‘working group’ to discuss Turkish sanctions

The US State Department rejected Turkey’s claims that the two sides are discussing the formation of a joint working group to discuss the issue of sanctions that Washington imposed on Ankara over its purchase of a Russian air defense system.

Responding to a question from newswebsite Ahval, a State Department spokesperson said there is “no working group” to discuss the US law known as CAATSA or to “study” the threat posed by the Russian S-400 anti-missile system to US-made F-35 fighter jets.

“There are routine working-level consultations regarding the impact of the sanctions on existing military-to-military cooperation,” the spokesperson continued. “We remain committed to the full implementation of sanctions as announced by Secretary [Mike] Pompeo on December 14.”

Earlier in the day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had claimed that the two countries were discussing a joint working group to resolve the issue.

The sanctions target Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries, the head of the presidency and three other senior officials. They also include a ban on most export licenses, loans and credits to the agency.

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