Washington Supports Sale Of F-16 Jets To Turkey
WASHINGTON - Washington has shown support toward the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey just one day after Turkey withdrew its objections regarding Sweden and Finland joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Celeste Wallander, who is the Pentagon Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security Affairs said "The United States supports Turkey’s modernization of its fighter fleet because that is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security. These plans are in the works. And, they need to be worked through our contracting processes".
The request for 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets, along with around 80 modernization kids to upgrade its current military aircraft was made by Turkey back in October, 2021.
U.S President Joe Biden spoke with the President of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan and said "I want to particularly thank you for what you did", in regards to his efforts in agreeing to a deal accepting Sweden and Finland into joining the NATO alliance.
Turkey had objected to the two Nordic countries joining the organization due to the countries support of the PKK and YPG groups, which Turkey has deemed terrorist organizations.
With the new deal however, Sweden and Finland both signed an agreement not to support the PKK and YPG Kurdish militant groups.
U.S. officials have objected to the notion that Washington's backing of the sale of F-16s to Turkey had anything to do with their lifting their block against the two Nordic countries from joining the NATO alliance.
A senior administration official said "The U.S. did not offer anything to Turkey and was not asked for anything by Turkey" in order to lift Turkey's block against Sweden and Finland joining the NATO alliance.