Turkey, U.S. discussing Patriot systems sale

ANKARA, March 1 - Turkey and the U.S. are negotiating Washington's offer to sell a Patriot missile defense system to Ankara, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

Cavusoglu's comments were carried by state-owned Anadolu news agency after Bloomberg reported that Turkey had rejected a U.S. proposal to deliver a Patriot missile system by the end of the year.

While offering the Patriots to Turkey, the U.S. has warned its NATO ally against buying a Russian missile defense system, saying it cannot be integrated into the NATO air defenses. President Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey remains committed to the Russian deal.

U.S. officials have said that if Turkey proceeds with the S-400 purchase, Washington would withdraw its offer to sell a $3.5 billion Raytheon Co Patriot missile package, and could block the sale of fighter jets to Turkey and impose sanctions.

The United States "said they could sell Patriots, and the delegations are negotiating," Cavusoglu said.
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