TrumpErdo
© Reuters/Tom Brenner
US President Donald Trump • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan said their countries were working to "resolve" the issue of Ankara purchasing Russian S-400 air defense systems, without going into any specifics.

Erdogan, who arrived in Washington on Wednesday for an official state visit, spent much of the day in meetings with Trump and several US senators critical of Turkey's recent actions in northern Syria. Appearing at a joint press conference in the late afternoon, he showed no sign of backing down from Ankara's current posture, saying that political concerns ought to be separate from matters of commerce. This followed Trump's framing of US-Turkish relations in the context of a $100 billion trade deal.

Turkey is "ready and committed" to participate in "sustained dialogue" with the US Congress over the S-400 issue, Erdogan said. However, he pushed back on US lawmakers' approval of a resolution blaming Turkey for the Armenian genocide during the First World War.

Washington has repeatedly tried to pressure Ankara to cancel the S-400 contract with Moscow, even threatening sanctions, but was ultimately unsuccessful. The US has frozen Turkey out of the F-35 program as a result, creating complications since Turkish factories make a part of the stealth fighter's airframe.

Erdogan has argued that Turkey will buy whatever weapons it wants from whoever it wants, and repeatedly floated the possibility of buying Russian-made Sukhoi fighters if the F-35 question is not resolved to Ankara's satisfaction - including right before departing for Washington.