White House says it wants to 'move forward' on sale of F-16 jets to Türkiye
The Biden administration wants to "move forward" on the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, the White House said Wednesday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
"The president's position has not changed. We still would like to move forward on that," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said when asked if the White House has received any indication from Congress ahead of the second round of Turkish presidential elections Sunday.
"My recommendation would be to maybe talk to Senator (Bob) Menendez’s office or folks on the (Capitol) Hill to talk about what their expectations are," he said. "All I can do is speak for the president and nothing's changed about his desire to move forward on it, on the F-16s."
Ankara made a request to Washington for 40 F-16 jets and modernization kits in October 2021 and is waiting for a green light from the US Congress.
Some members of Congress objected the sale, tying its approval to ratification of NATO membership for Sweden and Finland.
Türkiye repeatedly said the request and Sweden’s and Finland's NATO bids are not linked.
Although Türkiye approved Finland's membership to NATO, it is still waiting for Sweden to abide by a trilateral memorandum signed last June in Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns.