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US joining forces with terrorists, Turkey says , voicing determination to buy Russian S-400

US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence (R) arrive to welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for meetings at the White House in Washington, DC, March 25, 2019. (AFP photo)

Turkey is ignoring threats by top US officials to buy Russia’s S-400 missile system.

The comments came despite threats from US officials including Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.

In an address during a meeting of NATO ministers in Washington, Pence repeated US threats against Ankara over the country’s defensive cooperation with Russia.

"Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?" Pence said.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay pushed back at the claims on Twitter, accusing the US of support for terrorism.

"The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?"

The United States stopped shipment of equipment for F-35 to Turkey earlier to send a message to Turkey.

The row over the F-35 and the S-400 is the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes between Ankara and Washington.

"We’ve also made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries that threaten the cohesion of our alliance," Pence said.

Turkey has said the S-400 Triumph air defense system will be delivered by Russia despite the US pressure on the NATO member.

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