calls for F-16s for NATO growth

26 calls for F-16s for NATO growth

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has mentioned that Ankara’s ratification of Sweden’s bid is determined by whether or not US President Joe Biden’s administration delivers on its pledge to approve the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye.

“Turkish parliament can have the ultimate say on Sweden’s NATO membership,” Erdogan instructed journalists on a flight again from Azerbaijan on Monday. “In the event that they [Washington] hold their guarantees, our parliament will hold its personal promise as properly.”

Washington banished Türkiye from a program to purchase F-35 fighter jets in 2019, due to Ankara’s buy of Russian-made S-400 air protection methods. As a substitute, Ankara requested 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 current warplanes.

In July, US President Joe Biden’s administration promised to push ahead with the sale of F-16s, after Ankara agreed to cease obstructing Sweden’s accession to NATO. Nonetheless, a gaggle of US lawmakers, together with scandal-hit former Senate Overseas Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez, threatened to dam the plane deal nonetheless.

“One in all our most essential issues relating to the F-16s have been the actions of US Senator Bob Menendez in opposition to our nation,” Erdogan claimed on Monday, including that “Menendez’s exit offers us a bonus however the F-16 situation is just not a problem that relies upon solely on Menendez.”

Menendez was charged final week in a federal case for his alleged corrupt relationship and receiving bribes to profit a international nation. Whereas he was pressured to resign his function as chairman of the committee, the official claimed innocence and refused to stop the US Congress.

Sweden and its Nordic neighbor, Finland, utilized to hitch NATO in Might 2022, following the beginning of the Ukraine battle. Nonetheless, whereas Helsinki turned a member of the US-led army bloc in April, Stockholm’s bid stays in limbo on account of Hungary and Türkiye’s reluctance. 

Erdogan had exercised his veto energy for months, arguing that it was not doing sufficient to extradite individuals linked to Kurdish teams that Ankara considers terrorist organizations. In flip, some US senators are threatening to dam the F-16 deal except Ankara approves Sweden’s bid.

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