The Administration of US President Joe Biden intends to promote in Congress the problematic agreement between his country and Turkey on the supply of F-16 fighters, the White House National Security Adviser declared on Tuesday. , Jake Sullivan, at a press conference at the NATO summit held in Vilnius (Lithuania).
“President Biden has been clear and unequivocal for months that he supported the transfer of F-16s to Turkey. In his public and private comments over the past few months, he has made no caveats or conditions, and it is his intention to move forward with the transfer and consultation with Congress,” Sullivan said.
In 2021, Ankara asked Washington for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets, produced by Lockheed Martin, for 20 billion dollars, as well as around 80 modernization kits for its existing fighters. However, the US authorities rejected the request due to a series of discrepancies between Turkey and the US, such as Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, its economic ties with Moscow and its tense relations. relations with Greece.
Despite Biden’s endorsement of the deal, the US Congress is still divided and may refuse to approve the delivery. As a consequence, the President’s Administration has yet to negotiate with lawmakers who are concerned about Turkish flights in Greek airspace and the human rights situation in the country to convince them to approve the Turkish application.
Sullivan’s words came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he would withdraw his objections to Sweden’s NATO membership. After the meeting he held with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Erdogan sent Sweden’s candidacy to join NATO and “guarantee its ratification” to the Turkish Parliament. with RT