Turkey has objected to the delay in procuring F-16 fighter jets from the United States and requested that the Pentagon submit the issue to the US Congress, Turkish newspaper Sabah reported, quoting sources familiar with the matter.
Turkey has been planning to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets from the US and 80 modernization kits. US President Joe Biden had allegedly hoped to get approval from Congress to deliver the fighters to Turkey. However, a group of US congressmen rejected the deal.
Sources were cited as saying that Ankara would not like the issue to be subjected to lengthy procedures and delays; therefore, Turkey is negotiating with the Pentagon and trying to speed up the decision-making, as the issue is scheduled to be discussed on the outskirts of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly during a possible meeting in New York due between 13 and 27 September.
US President Joe Biden met by the end of June with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and thanked him for dropping opposition to the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO, with the US also signaling support for Turkey’s plan to buy F-16 warplanes.
This happened two days after the Turkish President dropped his threatened veto of Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO.
“We should sell them the F-16 jets and modernize those jets as well. It’s not in our interest not to do that,” Biden said at a news conference after the NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid.
Source: Agencies (editted by Al-Manar English Website)