The White House announced that US President Joe Biden’s administration wants to “move forward” with the sale of ‘F-16’ type fighters to Turkiye.
“The president’s position has not changed. We still would like to move forward on that,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said when asked if the White House has received any indication from Congress in this regard ahead of Turkiye’s second round of presidential elections scheduled for next Sunday.
Ankara made a request to Washington for 40 F-16 jets and modernization kits in October 2021 and is waiting for a green light from the US Congress.
The fighters are the Turkish Air Force’s main component, with Ankara purchasing a total of 270 aircraft from Washington between 1987 and 2012.
Some members of Congress objected the sale, tying its approval to Ankara’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO accession, while Turkiye refused to link the fighters to Sweden’s NATO accession.
Although Turkiye has approved Finland’s membership to NATO, it is still waiting for Sweden to abide by a trilateral memorandum signed last June in the Spanish capital Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns.