Akar: Turkey's removal from F-35 program to weaken NATO

Akar: Turkey's removal from F-35 program to weaken NATO

Turkey's removal from the F-35 program will negatively affect the strength of NATO's southern wing in particular, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said a day after the U.S. announced it would remove Turkey from the program over its purchase of a Russian S-400 air defense system.

"Expecting from the U.S. to avoid steps that could harm relations of two countries is most natural right of Turkey as a strategic partner," Akar told Anadolu Agency after inspection of troops deployed along the country's border with Syria.

"The unilateral and unfair decision" to try to remove Turkey from F-35 project "is not based on legitimate justification," the Turkish defense minister said.

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