The United States and Turkey have held another round of talks aimed at resolving the dispute over Ankara's removal from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. Meanwhile, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin also discussed bilateral and regional defense and security issues, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
Spokesman Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth said top Pentagon officials Andrew Winternitz and Melissa Benkert led a U.S. delegation to Ankara on Oct. 27 "for dispute resolution discussions to address remaining issues resulting from Turkey's removal from the F-35 program, which was finalized on Sept. 23."
They were joined by a delegation from Turkey's Defense Ministry, the Pentagon said.
"The meeting demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. government to conclude respectfully Turkey's prior involvement in the F-35 program," Semelroth said in a statement. "Discussions were productive, and the delegations plan to meet again in the coming months in Washington, D.C.," he added.