FILE PHOTO: Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak attends a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo
April 16, 2019
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak held talks with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday and he said Trump took a “reasonable” stance regarding Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian air defense missile system, Turkish media reported.
Ankara’s plan to buy the S-400 system has fueled tensions between the NATO allies and Washington has said Ankara could face sanctions over the issue. Turkey’s defense minister called on Monday for issues be resolved through dialogue.
Albayrak, who is Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, said he met on Monday Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law.
“During our meetings, where we discussed steps to increase our cooperation, we were received by U.S. President Donald Trump. We passed on the greetings and messages of our president,” Albayrak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
“He listened in a very reasonable way with a positive understanding to the process regarding Turkey’s needs for the S-400s,” broadcaster CNN Turk cited Albayrak as telling reporters. “There was a very positive, constructive conversation.”
Albayrak was also cited as saying there were discussions at the meetings on increasing bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey to $75 billion annually from $20 billion currently.
(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans)