There is an international failure in dealing with the Syrian crisis, Turkey’s
foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, US
Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone said Washington had begun “expert”
talks with Turkey to assess the impact of its plans to co-produce the long-range
air and missile defense system with a Chinese firm under US
“We are seriously concerned about what this means for allied
missile and air defenses for us and for Turkey,” Ricciardone
Turkey, a member of the NATO military alliance, said in September
it had chosen the FD-2000 missile defense system from China Precision Machinery
Import and Export Corp, or CPMIEC, over rival systems from Russian, US and
This comes after a recent report that Turkish
intelligence head Hakan Fidan had disclosed sensitive Israeli and American
information to Iran.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has
cooled relations with Jerusalem and the recent Chinese deal and intelligence
leak to Tehran may mean the US may be reassessing its relations with Ankara,
despite the fact that President Barack Obama has said he has a close
relationship with the Turkish leader.
Soner Cagaptay, director of the
Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told
The Jerusalem Post that “Turkey has an overall and long-term strategy of
building a native defense industry.”
Turkey has for years wanted
co-production and transfer of weapons technology – to build them itself and to
be given the technology – but the West has refused and China agreed to
“Washington has in general been lukewarm to this idea.
Accordingly, Turkey tries to increase its bargaining power by flirting with the
idea of finding alternative arms providers,” Cagaptay said.
which has been pursuing a policy of regime change in Damascus, feels abandoned
by the US in that regard,” asserted Cagaptay.
“The Turks are signaling
that they are unhappy with the US policy in Syria, by flirting with the idea of
building military ties with other powers,” he said.
The increased strain
in Turkey’s relations with the US comes at the same time that Saudi Arabia is
showing its displeasure with America’s Middle East policy, with leaks being
published in the press describing the Saudi leadership’s frustrations with US
Reuters contributed to this report.