July 6, 2022
Washington on Tuesday reaffirmed its support of Turkey’s request to buy F-16 fighter jets and modernization of its fleet.
“We’ve been very clear about the F-16. That conversation about the F-16 and Turkey has been around for some time,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference.
In a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid, Biden said Washington “should sell” F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, adding he was confident that the needed congressional approval would be obtained.
“We should sell the F-16 to Turkey. I said that in December, and my position hasn’t changed since then. It’s not in our interests not to sell them. We need congressional approval to get there, and I think we’ll get there,” he added.
Biden’s remarks marked Washington’s strongest public backing yet for the request since it was lodged by Ankara last October.
Turkey made a request to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes, in what is estimated to be a $6 billion deal.