Turkey in talks with France over missile purchase: Erdogan
Turkey has resumed talks with France on purchasing a new missile system after negotiations on a controversial deal with a US-blacklisted Chinese company hit a rock, the Turkish president was reported Sunday as saying.
"Some disagreements have emerged with China on the issues of joint production and technology transfer during negotiations over missile defence system," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters as he returned from the NATO summit in Wales, according to private television NTV.
"Talks are continuing despite that, but France which is second on the list has come up with a new offer. Right now we are holding ongoing talks with France," he said.
"Here joint production is important to us."
Last September, Turkey reached a deal with China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC) for its first long-range anti-missile system, but the contract has sparked concerns in Washington.
Turkish officials had since said the deal with China was not finalised and that Ankara was open to new offers from other bidders.
CPMIEC beat competition from a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Russia's Rosoboronexport, and Italian-French consortium Eurosam for the deal, estimated at $4 billion (2.9 billion euros).
The Chinese group, which makes the HQ-9 missile system, is under US sanctions for selling arms and missile technology to Iran and Syria.
The Turkish move also irritated its allies in NATO, which has said missile systems within the transatlantic military alliance must be compatible with each other.
© 2014 AFP