Hurriyet Daily News
June 30, 2022

Biden says US ’should sell’ F-16s to Türkiye

President Joe Biden on June 30 said that the United States should go ahead with the delayed sale of F-16 warplanes to Türkiye but said Congress needs to give approval.

“We should sell them the F-16 jets and modernize those jets as well,” Biden said, adding there was “no quid pro quo” of linking the sale to Türkiye’s approval for Finland and Sweden entering NATO.

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Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official expressed strong backing for Türkiye’s wish to upgrade its air force with new F-16 fighter planes and improvements to its existing older fleet.

“The U.S. Department of Defense fully supports Türkiye’s modernization plans,” Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told reporters.

“Türkiye is a highly capable, highly valued, strategic NATO ally and Turkish defense capabilities, strong Turkish defense capabilities, contribute to strong NATO defense capabilities,” she said.

Senator Lindsey Graham meanwhile tweeted, “I support the Biden Administration’s decision to support the sale of a new F-16 to our NATO ally Türkiye. While we have our differences with Türkiye, they are a NATO ally and it is in America’s national security interest to strengthen their capabilities in a troubled region.”