Turkey's president says still wants to buy U.S. Patriot missiles: local media

2019-09-14 13:35:49 GMT2019-09-14 21:35:49(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ANKARA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will discuss buying U.S. Patriot missiles with U.S. President Donald Trump this month, despite statements that the U.S. offer is not on the table anymore, local media reported Saturday.

Erdogan insisted in an interview with Reuters that his "personal relationship" with Trump could help overcome the crisis caused by Ankara buying Russian air defense systems, according to Daily Sabah newspaper.

NATO ally Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system in July raised the prospect of U.S. sanctions, and the U.S. State Department has said that an offer to sell Patriot missile defense system to Ankara has expired.

Erdogan pointed out that he had discussed buying Patriots in a phone call with Trump two weeks ago and would follow up when they meet at the UN General Assembly, which will start next week.

The U.S. has suspended Turkey from the F-35 jet program, preventing Turkey from acquiring some 100 of the stealth jets.