Addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that follows the 7th Turkish-Russian Joint Strategic Planning Group Meeting in Antalya, both countries also slam the US decision on Golan Heights.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov attend an inter-delegations meeting in Antalya's Belek town, Turkey on March 29, 2019.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov attend an inter-delegations meeting in Antalya's Belek town, Turkey on March 29, 2019. (AA)

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday the deal to purchase S-400 defence systems from Russia will be honoured, and that Ankara has met its obligations to be part of the US F-35 fighter aircraft programme.

Cavusoglu's remarks came after the 7th Turkish-Russian Joint Strategic Planning Group Meeting in Antalya, where the minister discussed bilateral relations as well as current regional and international developments with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

He also said Turkey had no intention of selling the S-400s to another country, and that Turkey and Russia were discussing delivery times. 

The Turkish foreign minister also said the United States was making contradictory statements over the F-35 programme.

Turkey and Russia slam US decision on Golan Heights

Turkey and Russia also criticised the US decision on Golan Heights, saying it was against international law.

"We definitely do not recognise such a decision and such a signature [of US President Donald Trump] because it is against international law and UN resolutions. These are the territories of Syria," Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu said the US decision did not contribute to regional peace and stability, adding, "On the contrary, it creates unrest and chaos in the region."

Lavrov, for his part, said Russia also did not recognise the decision, saying, "This is against international law.

All kinds of international law was violated and broken."

On Monday, Trump signed a presidential proclamation officially recognising Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Three UN Security Council resolutions have also called on Israel to withdraw from the Golan, which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, in a move that was never recognised internationally.

Israel has long pushed Washington to recognise its claim over the occupied territory.

Turkey, Russia, China, Germany and others are already opposed to Washington’s most controversial move in recent years.

Bilateral ties

Cavusoglu said Ankara was pleased with enhanced bilateral relations with Moscow, adding, “Our relations are improving in every area ranging from economy to culture. We realize very important projects.”

He also said Turkey and Russia not only develop bilateral relations but also strengthen cooperation on regional issues.

“It is not limited to Syria or some countries. We are in consultation with Russia in many areas, including Balkans and Central Asia," Cavusoglu said.

The minister also said Ankara expects Russia to remove the visa-ban on Turkish citizens.

"Our expectation is the complete removal of visa for our citizens. We discussed which steps we can take regarding this, and also we will together continue to work on this issue," Cavusoglu said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to lift visa requirements for Turkish service passport holders and truck drivers travelling to Russia.

The new rules are also valid for Turkish citizens with special passports on short-term business trips, including those to diplomatic missions and consular offices, as well as professional drivers transporting international cargo.

Source: Reuters