Turkey rejects ultimatums, says will not back down on Russian S-400s

Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile launching system is displayed at the exposition field in Kubinka Patriot Park outside Moscow on August 22, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 13 June 2019
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Turkey rejects ultimatums, says will not back down on Russian S-400s

ANKARA: Turkey will not back down from its decision to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems and rejects any ultimatums on the issue, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday in response to US warnings about the purchase.
Cavusoglu was responding to a question about a letter in which US acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan warned Turkey that it would be pulled out of the F-35 fighter jet program unless Ankara changed course from its plans to install the S-400s.


Iraq must not be dragged into another regional war: president

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May shakes hands with Iraq’s President Barham Salih in London, Britain June 25, 2019. (The Presidency of the Republic of Iraq Office/Reuters)
Updated 54 min 48 sec ago
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Iraq must not be dragged into another regional war: president

  • ‘We cannot afford our country to be dragged into conflict’
  • Saleh said Baghdad’s priority was ‘stability’

LONDON: Iraqi President Barham Salih said Wednesday his country must not be dragged into another conflict in the Middle East, as tensions rise over its neighbor Iran.
“We have had four decades of challenge and turmoil. We do not want to be embroiled in another war,” he said at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs think-tank in London.
“We cannot afford our country to be dragged into conflict.”
With tensions high between Iran and the United States, Salih insisted his country would not become “a staging post for belligerents.”
“We are asking everybody to cool it down... enough is enough,” he said.
“We do not want to be a victim of a conflict in Middle East. We have not finished the last one,” the Iraqi president added, referring to the US-led war on terror and battle against Daesh.
“It is in our national interests to have good relationship with Iran,” he said, whilst adding: “The US is a very important partner for Iraq.”
Salih, who took office in October, said Baghdad’s priority was “stability.”
“We need to transform Iraq from a zone of regional and proxy conflict into a zone of trade, infrastructure development, and jobs and a future for young people,” the 58-year-old said.
Salih visited British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday for talks on security cooperation and nation-building.
May said Britain “stood ready to provide further support” to the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, her Downing Street office said.