AA News

Biden assured Congress approval for F-16 sales after Türkiye ratifies Sweden’s NATO bid: President Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his US counterpart Joe Biden stated he will have the US Congress approval for F-16 sales after the Turkish parliament ratifies Sweden’s NATO bid.

“If we operate this simultaneously, we will have the opportunity to pass this through parliament much more easily,” Erdogan quoted Biden as telling him.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday aboard his plane returning from Hungary, President Erdogan said: “Another complicating factor in the parliamentary process is the negative stance of Canada and some allies on defense procurement. All of these are interconnected.”

“Positive developments on both the F-16 issue with the US and Canada’s fulfillment of its promises will accelerate our parliament’s favorable view,” the Turkish president added.

Erdogan said Sweden gave Türkiye assurances in the NATO summit held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July, adding: “We are expecting these assurances to be fulfilled and closely monitoring the developments.”

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership shortly after Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022.

Although Türkiye approved Finland’s NATO membership, it is waiting for Sweden to fulfill its commitments not to provide shelter to terrorists or supporters of terrorists and not to facilitate their actions.

Erdogan signed Sweden’s NATO accession protocol and submitted it to parliament in October for a ratification vote.

Türkiye is seeking to purchase from the US the latest model F-16 Block 70 aircraft, as well as 79 modernization kits to upgrade its remaining F-16s to Block 70 level.