Washington wants to proceed with selling the F16 fighters to Türkiye
The White House announced, on Wednesday, that the administration of US President Joe Biden wants to move forward with the sale of F16 fighters to Türkiye.
This came according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, when asked if the White House had received any signal from Congress in this regard ahead of the second round of the Turkish presidential elections scheduled for Sunday.
“The president’s position hasn’t changed, and we still want to move that forward,” Kirby said.
He added, “My recommendation is maybe to talk to Senator Bob Menendez’s office or members of Congress to talk about their expectations”.
In addition, he added, “All I can do is speak for the president and nothing has changed about his desire to move forward with that, on the F16s”.
Ankara and Washington have negotiated the sale of 40 new F16s and 79 upgrade kits, but the process awaits approval by the US Congress.
These US fighter jets are the main component of the Turkish Air Force, as between 1987 and 2012 Ankara bought a total of 270 aircraft from Washington.
Some members of Congress objected to the sale, linking their agreement to Ankara’s ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO, while Türkiye refuses to link the fighters to Sweden’s accession to NATO.
Despite Türkiye’s approval of Finland’s membership in NATO, it is still waiting for Sweden’s commitment to a tripartite memorandum signed last June in Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns.