The Biden administration has agreed to the sale of F-16 fighter jets after Ankara dropped its opposition to Sweden’s NATO bid
US President Joe Biden’s administration has agreed to push ahead with the controversial sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, simply hours after Ankara stopped standing in the way in which of Sweden’s membership in NATO.
White Home Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed the choice on Tuesday, saying Biden would work with Congress to get the arms deal finalized.
“He has positioned no caveats or situations,” Sullivan instructed reporters on the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. “He intends to maneuver ahead with that switch in session with Congress.”
A bunch of US senators threatened to dam the plane deal in February until Ankara authorised the bid by Sweden and Finland to affix the US-led army bloc. Finland grew to become a NATO member in April.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Monday in Vilnius, the place he agreed to help Stockholm’s utility to affix the alliance. The 31-nation army bloc requires unanimous approval for all new members. Erdogan had exercised his veto energy for months, arguing that Sweden was not doing sufficient to extradite folks linked to Kurdish teams that Ankara considers terrorist organizations.
Regardless of the change of Ankara’s place, some US lawmakers nonetheless have qualms over the F-16 deal. The US should “discover a method to make sure that Turkey’s aggression towards its neighbors ceases,” mentioned Senate International Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat. He additionally has raised issues about Turkish human rights and Ankara’s overflights via Greek airspace.
Menendez added that he needs assurances that Türkiye won’t use the warplanes “to behave within the belligerent method they’ve towards different NATO allies, not simply Greece.”
In 2019, Washington eliminated Türkiye from a program to purchase F-35 fighter jets due to Ankara’s buy of Russian-made S-400 air protection programs.
Ankara requested US approval in October 2021 for a $20 billion buy that would come with new F-16 fighters, constructed by Lockheed Martin, in addition to round 80 modernization kits for its present warplanes.