Democrats warn State Dept against punishing individuals who testify in impeachment hearings
A group of Senate Democrats is urging top State Department officials to commit that individuals who testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry hearings won't face retaliation over their remarks.Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the committee's ranking member, sent a letter on Tuesday to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Undersecretary of State Brian Bulatao urging them to publicly commit to protecting department officials who testify from any potential professional blowback.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Turkey needs to "get rid of" the Russian S-400 missile defense system it purchased, a senior State Department official said on Thursday, to overcome a standoff with Washington, which says the procurement poses a threat to NATO defense capabilities.
"There is room for Turkey to come back to the table. They know that to make this work they need to either destroy or return or somehow get rid of the S-400," the official told reporters at a briefing.
Trump, Erdogan to meet as thorny issues stress relations
WASHINGTON (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Donald Trump will meet as relations between the two NATO allies are at their lowest point in decades, with Turkey rebuffing the U.S. and turning toward Russia on security issues and Ankara facing a Washington backlash over attacks on Kurdish civilians during its incursion into Syria last month. Erdogan and Trump have a difficult agenda Wednesday that includes Turkey's decision to buy a Russian air defense system and its attack on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Their scheduled afternoon news conference, however, will give Trump a stage to counter the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry.
Ankara and Washington have been at loggerheads over Turkey's purchase of the S-400s, which Washington says are not compatible with NATO defenses and pose a threat to its F-35 stealth fighter jets.
In response, the United States suspended Turkey from the F-35 program and warned of possible U.S. sanctions over the deal, although it has yet to impose them.
Last week, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump met at the White House to discuss mounting differences ranging from the S-400s to Syria policy. During the talks, Trump urged Erdogan to drop the S-400 systems in lieu of U.S. Patriot systems.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)
Turkey Begins Testing Missile Radars at Heart of Row With U.S. .
Turkey will test a component of its newly acquired Russian air defense system, a step that risks escalating a dispute with the U.S. and touching off possible sanctions. The lira reversed gains. © Photographer: ALEXEY SAZONOV/AFP Russian soldiers examine the S-400 Triumph rocket systems in Elektrostal. Military aircraft will be used in the capital Ankara on Monday and Tuesday during the testing of the S-400 system’s radar-detection equipment, a Turkish defense official said, asking not to be identified in line with his department’s restrictions.