U.S. - Turkey's purchase of Russia air defence system 'disappointing'

FILE PHOTO: Esper testifies at confirmation hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to become the next secretary of defence called Turkey's decision to buy Russia's S-400 air defence system "disappointing," in remarks that break days of administration silence about the move by the NATO ally.

"They have been a long standing and very capable NATO ally, but their decision on the S-400 is the wrong one and it is disappointing," said Army Secretary Mark Esper, testifying on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Esper returned to his Army role after stepping down as acting defence secretary while the Senate weighs his nomination.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)