Turkey’s Erdogan says no problem with Russian S-400 purchases — Haberturk

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said there was no problem with the country’s planned purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. (Presidential Palace via Reuters)
Updated 13 October 2017
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Turkey’s Erdogan says no problem with Russian S-400 purchases — Haberturk

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said there was no problem with Turkey’s planned purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and talks have also been held on the S-500 system, Haberturk and other newspapers reported on Friday.
His Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted on Monday as saying NATO member Turkey could seek a deal to acquire a missile defense system with another country if Russia does not agree to joint production of the defence shield.
Speaking to reporters as he returned on his plane from a trip to Ukraine and Serbia, Erdogan said there would be no joint production in the first stage of S-400 purchases, but in the second stage “God willing we will take joint production steps”, Haberturk reported.
“In our talks with (Russia President Vladimir) Putin we are not thinking of stopping with the S-400s. We have had talks on the S-500s too,” he added, referring to a missile system currently under development.
Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s has been seen in some Western capitals as a snub to NATO, given tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and Syria, while the deal raised concern because the weapons cannot be integrated into the alliance’s defenses.
However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said this week Turkey was not seeking to antagonize the US-led alliance by purchasing the system and is in talks with France and Italy to buy similar weapons.


Palestinians protest US visa denial to experts to come to UN

Updated 33 min 52 sec ago
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Palestinians protest US visa denial to experts to come to UN

UNITED NATIONS: The Palestinians are protesting the US refusal to grant visas to six experts from the prime minister’s office to come to the United Nations to present a report on Palestinian implementation of UN goals for 2030.
The Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, told two reporters Wednesday that Israel “complicated the matter” by refusing to allow several of the experts to travel from Ramallah to Jerusalem where the US Consulate is located to check on their visas.
“We condemn this action,” Mansour said.
He said it violates the UN agreement with the United States as host country of the world organization, which requires the US to facilitate UN work and allow delegates to attend UN meetings.
Mansour said he plans to send a letter of protest to the General Assembly committee dealing with host country relations.
The US Mission said it was looking into the complaint. Israel’s UN Mission did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Since the experts couldn’t attend the high-level meeting taking place this week at UN headquarters, Mansour said he and his team “were able to improvise” and presented the Palestinian report on Tuesday. He said it “received a long applause from the participants.”
Mansour said he started the presentation by “condemning the fact that they were denied visas, and the work of our delegation was obstructed in violation of the headquarters agreement.”
The high-level meeting is hearing what nearly 50 countries are doing to implement the UN goals to combat poverty, promote development and gender equality, and preserve the environment by 2030.
The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in November 2012 to upgrade the Palestinians’ status from a UN observer to a non-voting observer state, enabling it to make a voluntary report.
Mansour said that although the Palestinians are trying their best to fulfill the different UN goals by 2030, “the overriding issue influencing our effort to accomplish these objectives is the negative effect of occupation” by Israel.
In spite of that, he said, “we almost have 100 percent of education for our kids, our illiteracy is close to zero, there’s improvement in the medical field, but there’s need and challenges.”
Mansour said the Palestinians need more hospitals, more schools in east Jerusalem and elsewhere, and more housing.
“In terms of food security, we don’t have people who are starving although 1.2 million of the population in the Gaza Strip rely on food program assistance and help from UNRWA,” which is facing a funding crisis after major US cuts.