Turkish leader spoke with France, Italy about co-producing Eurosam missiles: Top Turkish diplomat

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s discussion took place on sidelines of NATO meetings in Brussels, says Cavusoglu

Joint Turkish production of a European missile was discussed when the Turkish president met with Italian and French leaders in Brussels earlier this week, according to Turkiye’s top diplomat.

During NATO meetings in Brussels on the Ukraine war, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi “and the main issue was the Eurosam SAMP/T and defense system,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Doha Forum on Saturday.

Eurosam “is a joint venture of France and Italy. And we signed an agreement, a letter of intention with Eurosam like eight years ago, (but) nothing happened until today. Now those two countries are most curious to have joint production in Turkiye to export SAMP/T, the air defense system, to my country,” Cavusoglu explained.

On Russia’s war on Ukraine, Cavusoglu added: “Our job is to actually have them (Russia and Ukraine) find this face-saving way out.”

Cavusoglu added that in the end Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make the final decision, “so that’s why we have been also trying to bring them together.”

Cavusoglu showed skepticism on Ukraine’s wish for NATO membership, saying: “I think Ukraine understood that that NATO membership will not happen. It was not going to happen anyway. And many European allies were against this NATO membership of Ukraine and Georgia. So Ukraine understood this perfectly.”

Saying that Ukraine does not have the luxury of choosing between West and East, or between Europe and Russia, he underlined that Turkiye and Ukraine, as countries in the region, should have a balanced foreign policy with all.

The 20th edition of the Doha Forum kicked off in the Qatari capital on Saturday.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which began on Feb. 24, has met international outrage, with the EU, US and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,035 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,650 injured, according to UN estimates, while cautioning that the true figure is likely far higher.

More than 3.7 million Ukrainians have also fled to neighboring countries, with millions more displaced inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency.


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