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Turkey set to dump U.S. if they won’t sell Patriots, F-35s

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Source: Reuters

Turkey warned on Wednesday that it could buy jets and additional air defense systems from Russia if it cannot get Patriot missile shields and F-35 jets from Washington, raising the prospect of ever deeper defense ties between Moscow and a NATO member.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s existing plans to buy Russian S-400 missile defenses have already alarmed the United States, which says they are not compatible with NATO systems and would compromise the security of F-35 jets Turkey is due to receive.

Washington has offered Ankara both carrot and stick in response, proposing to sell it the Raytheon Co. Patriot systems instead of the S-400s, while at the same time warning of sanctions and a halt in the F-35 fighter jet sales if the Russian deal goes ahead.

Turkey has shown no sign of giving ground and Erdogan, who held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week, was quoted on Wednesday as saying the July date for delivery of the first S-400s could even be brought forward.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also reiterated Turkey’s stance that the S-400 purchase was a done deal and that it would meet its defense needs from elsewhere if necessary.

“If the United States is willing to sell, then we’ll buy Patriots. However, if the United States doesn’t want to sell, we may buy more S-400s or other systems,” Cavusoglu told Turkish broadcaster NTV.

“If the F-35s don’t work out, I will again have to procure the jets I need from elsewhere … There are (Russian) SU-34, SU-57 and others. I will absolutely meet my needs from somewhere until I can produce it myself,” he said.

Asked about Cavusoglu’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was looking for opportunities to broaden its military and technical cooperation with Turkey. “This is an absolutely normal process,” he told reporters.

“EITHER F-35s OR S-400s”

The F-35s stealth fighters are being built by Lockheed Martin Corp, but Turkish manufacturers are also involved in production, further complicating the fallout from any rupture between the two countries.

Cavusoglu also said Turkey had not yet received a positive response from Washington over its proposal to form a joint working group which Ankara says would be able to demonstrate that deploying the S-400s would not pose a threat to F-35s.

“The U.S. F-35s fly over Syria every day and there are S-400 systems there. They pose no threats despite being systems that are completely under Russian control, so will they pose a risk when the are in Turkey’s control?” he said.

On Tuesday, leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees warned Turkey that it risked tough sanctions if it pursued plans to buy the S-400s.

“By the end of the year, Turkey will have either F-35 advanced fighter aircraft on its soil or a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. It will not have both,” Republican Senators Jim Risch and Jim Inhofe and Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Jack Reed said.

The standoff over the S-400s purchase is one of several issues straining ties between the two NATO allies. They have also disagreed on military strategy in northern Syria, Iran sanctions and the detention of local U.S. consular staff.

Speaking to reporters on his return flight from Russia, Erdogan said he and Cavusoglu were constantly being pressured to abandon it the S-400 deal.

“We answer that ‘This deal is done, everything is settled’. The delivery of the S-400 missile defense system was to be in July. Maybe it can be brought forward,” Sabah newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Atiku Abubakar Displays Evidence That Shows He May Have Won Elections.

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Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has insisted the result from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.

In his submission to the presidential election tribunal, the former vice president gave the “unique MAC address and Microsoft product ID of the INEC server” from where the results were obtained.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in Atiku’s petition, he claimed he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes.

In response, INEC had claimed the results being paraded by Atiku was and not from its website.

But the PDP yesterday said the address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

“There is no conjecture in the votes and scores in the table pleaded by the Petitioners. The figures are factual. The Spokesperson for the 2nd Respondent’s Campaign Organization openly admitted that the data in question was in the first Respondent’s Server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) asking the Security agencies to investigate the 2nd Petitioner herein for allegedly hacking into the Server of the 1St Respondent and obtaining the data in question.

“Specifically, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Spokesperson of the 2nd Respondent claimed in the said petition that it was the first Petitioner who smuggled the data into the Server.”

Atiku and the PDP also alleged the INEC chairman “committed grave errors in the final collation exercise” for the election by “falsely crediting” some persons with political parties, including “Okotie Christopher, Reverend Dr. Onwubuya and Ojinika Jeff Chinze.”

“The grave errors referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 above were under the hands and signature of the first Respondent’s Chairman, (who was also the Returning Officer) in the conduct of the final collation of the results of the Presidential Election,” they added.

“The Petitioners state that the final results as declared by the first respondent are those that were transmitted online to the website of the first Respondent (www inecnigeria.org).”

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24 Hours Across Africa

More than 135 Nigerians returns from Libya.

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Over 135 stranded Nigerians in Libya has been received, The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the development. Alhaji Idris Muhammed, Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of NEMA, confirmed the development to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Muhammed said the Nigerians arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at 11.50 p.m on Monday aboard a chartered Al Buraq Air aircraft with registration number DMG-MJI. FILE: Libya returnees on arrival  According to him, they were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and European Union under the Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) Programme.

He said: “The returnees are made up of 59 adult females, four female children and five female infants. “Also, there are 63 adult males, two male children and three infant males.” 2 suspected traffickers nabbed as 164 Nigerians return from Libya Muhammed said the returnees were welcomed by NEMA and other agencies, including the National Refugees Commission, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons as well the Nigeria Immigration Service.

One of the returnees gave an account how he was maltreated  by stating that “The Arabs treated us like slaves. You work without being paid and so many of us were killed while watching the killings. “All of us here don’t fear death; we have seen what is more than hell. “The Libyans don’t care if you are black or not, the treatment given to us (blacks) is same they give to their Arab neighbours from Tunisia or Algeria. “Once they need someone to work, those chosen must follow them.

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