President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron debated Turkey's role in NATO during a press availability at Tuesday's NATO summit meeting in London.
Macron called out Turkey's decision to purchase a Russian-made anti-air defense system instead of the French-made version, saying: "How is it possible to be a member of the alliance, to work with others, to buy our materials and to be integrated and buy the S-400 from Russia. Technically, it is not possible."
"Second, I understand from Turkey that they want to block all the declarations of this summit if we do not agree about their definition of terrorist organizations — qualifying [Kurdish militia] YPG and the others as terrorist groups, which is not our definition," Macron said. "These two points have to be clarified if they want to be a serious member of the alliance."
QUESTION: Mr. President, on Turkey, President Macron just said he wanted the United States to do more to standing up to President Erdogan and clarifying the terms of that relationship. Are you supportive of those efforts by other NATO allies or are you standing in the way of them?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I can only say we have a very good relationship with Turkey and with President Erdogan. I do. I can't speak for the President of France. I mean, we have a very good relationship. We pulled our soldiers out and we said, "You can patrol your own border now. I don't care who you do it with, but we're not going to have soldiers patrolling the border that's been fought over for 2000 years." But we took our soldiers out, we put some of those soldiers around the oil where we captured the oil and taken the oil, and we have the oil. But we--and we brought some home and we will be bringing some home and we've sent some to other areas, okay? But we have a very good relationship with Turkey.
FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON: And just on Turkey, to be clear, we have a lot of cooperation with Turkey, on security, on trade, immigration, it turns out with the European Union and France. I do respect all leaders, whatever they can say, even bad things about MYSELF, I respect -- I never insulted anybody, but now, it's a question for this NATO summit.
I think we need clarification from the Turkish side, this is not us to qualify them and what they are doing, but I do believe, I think we have two clarifications to be asked. How is it possible to be a member of the alliance, to work with our office, to buy our materials, to be integrated and to buy the S-400 from Russia? Technically, it is not possible. Since our (INAUDIBLE) to be provided by the Turkish president as far as he wants to be put.
Second, I understand from Turkey that they want to block all the declarations of this summit if we do not agree about their definition of terrorist organizations — qualifying [Kurdish militia] YPG and the others as terrorist groups, which is not our definition. These two points have to be clarified if they want to--to be a serious member of the alliance. I think so.
QUESTION: Mr. President, will you--
TRUMP: --And this is why we're--this is really why we're having meetings. Those are our points. And we'll be discussing that with the president today. Yes?
QUESTION: Mr. President, will you issue sanctions on Turkey over their purchase of the S-400 missile system?
TRUMP: We're looking at it now and we're talking about it now. As you know, Turkey wanted to buy our patriot system and the Obama administration wouldn't let them. And the only let them when they were ready to buy another system which is not the same system. But Turkey, for a long period of time, wanted very much to buy the patriot system which is our system which is what NATO uses, which is a great system, which is the best system. They wouldn't sell it to Turkey so, you know, there are two sides of the story, I have to say this. But we will be discussing that with Turkey in a little while. We'll be meeting with Turkey in a little while and also tomorrow.
MACRON: But to be clear about the two points and for you to have them. It's for all of you, they were discussing with the Europeans on the SAMP/T and we accepted to sell the SAMP/T to them. So, this decision is not you and one other person to explain by the refusal a few years ago of the Americans not to sell the patriot. It's their own decision even having a European option totally compliant with NATO. So, they decided not to be compliant with NATO, it's simple.