Turkish companies that potentially would work with a Chinese weapons manufacturer to build a national missile-defense system are unlikely to be embargoed by the U.S. government, Today's Zaman reported.
Washington is attempting to convince Ankara to call off talks with a sanctioned Chinese government-owned firm to co-produce an antimissile system that would be used for Turkish national defense. The United States opposes the possible deal on several grounds, including that the Chinese system might not be capable of being integrated into the NATO's ballistic missile shield. Also, the United States is concerned even if the system is compatible it could still pose a cybersecurity threat to the alliance's classified military data. The Chinese manufacturer of the system additionally is under U.S. sanctions for violating a 2006 nonproliferation law.
"The U.S. would not impose sanctions on Turkish defense firms in order to exclude Turkey ... from defense tenders," Ankara Strategy Institute Chairman Mehmet Özcan said in a Sunday article.
"There has not been any signal so far" suggesting Washington would levy sanctions against Turkish companies that work with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. -- the producer of the FD-2000 antimissile system Ankara is discussing purchasing -- said an anonymous source with ties to Turkey's defense sector.
A well-informed Western source previously told the newspaper that U.S. companies might become leery of collaborating with Turkish firms that cooperate with the sanctioned Chinese weapons developer.
Turkey has asked foreign weapon firms to extend and improve their missile defense bids while it conducts contract talks with the CPMIEC company in a possible sign Ankara is reconsidering purchasing the FD-2000 following heavy U.S. pressure on the matter.