Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsSelling F-16 Jets to Turkey in US ‘National Interest’, Blinken Says

Selling F-16 Jets to Turkey in US ‘National Interest’, Blinken Says

Blinken Turkey F-16s
The Biden administration “strongly supports” the package for upgrading the current F-16s and providing new ones, Blinken said. Credit: Twitter/Secretary Antony Blinken

Upgrading and selling F-16 jets to Turkey is a “national and security interest” for the Biden administration, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.

After talks in Ankara with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Blinken said that the Biden administration “strongly supports the package for upgrading the current F-16s and providing new ones to Türkiye,” Blinken said.

“Because as a NATO ally and partner, it is in our national interest and in the security interest of the alliance that Türkiye continue to operate in higher standards of NATO to make sure that we have full interoperability,” he added.

The U.S. administration is still working on the issue before notifying Congress of the sale, he said.

“The matter is under process until we formally notify our Congress,” Blinken stated.

Turkey rejects preconditions on purchase of F-16 fleet

Speaking at a joint press conference, Cavusoglu said it is not possible for Turkey to purchase the Lockheed Martin warplanes with pre-conditions and that he believes the issue can be overcome if the US administration maintains a decisive stance.

The Turkish minister told reporters he discussed a planned $20 billion deal for the aircraft with Blinken, adding that Ankara would like the Biden administration to send the formal notification for the F-16s to Congress.

“We expect the U.S. sanctions against Türkiye, especially in the defense industry, to be lifted as soon as possible. The U.S. administration supports our request on the F-16 issue. The speedy completion of the process will benefit both parties. We request a prompt notification to Congress on this matter,” Çavuşoğlu said in a joint press conference with his U.S. counterpart.

“It will not be possible for us to buy an F-16 dependent on the conditions,” he stressed.

The minister said Ankara was aware of the letters written by some senators to Congress, and the Turkish authorities are also lobbying the congress on the issues. “If we can work on Congress together, I believe we can overcome those challenges together,” he said.

Earlier in February U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Biden expressing concern about Turkey’s continued delays around ratifying the NATO accession protocols for Sweden and Finland.

The bipartisan initiative led by Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) states that Congressional consideration of F-16 fighter jet sales to Turkey should not begin until the NATO protocols are ratified.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts