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U.S. urges Turkey not to keep Russian S-400 air defense system: State Dept

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a new S-400 "Triumph" surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad, Russia March 11, 2019. Picture taken March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vitaly Nevar/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, urged Ankara not to retain Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

“Secretary Blinken urged Turkey not to retain the Russian S-400 air defense system,” the statement said. Blinken also expressed concern over Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. The two also discussed shared interests in Syria and Afghanistan, exploratory talks between NATO Allies Turkey and Greece, democracy and human rights, it added.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Mohammad Zargham