Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his US counterpart Joe Biden stated he will have the US Congress approval for F-16 sales after the Turkish parliament ratifies Sweden’s NATO bid.
Speaking to journalist on Tuesday aboard his plane returning from Hungary, “The Swedish issue was also on the agenda during our meeting with the President of the United States of America, Mr. Joe Biden. We also evaluated the F-16 issue between us and the U.S.” Erdoğan said and added that in the meeting, President Biden made a statement saying, “You pass this through the Parliament, and I will pass it through the Congress in the same way.” “If we operate this simultaneously, we will have the opportunity to pass this through parliament much more easily,” Erdogan quoted Biden as telling him.
Another complicating issue in the parliamentary process is the negative stance of Canada and some allies on defense procurement, Erdogan said and added: “These are all interconnected. I believe that the positive developments we are expecting, both in terms of the F-16 issue in the US and Canada’s keeping its promises, will accelerate the positive view of our parliament on the issue. On the other hand, Sweden made promises to us in Vilnius. We expect these to be kept and we are closely following the developments.”
Erdogan signed Sweden’s NATO accession protocol and submitted it to parliament in October for a ratification vote.
Türkiye is seeking to purchase from the US the latest model F-16 Block 70 aircraft, as well as 79 modernization kits to upgrade its remaining F-16s to Block 70 level.
Some important points from Erdoğan’s statements are as follows:
- We will soon have a meeting with Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin and say, ‘Let’s make the Grain Corridor work. I hope we will get positive answers from him and continue on our way.
- (Hamas-Fatah talks) I believe that there are many things that we, as Turkey, have done and can do in this regard, because it is essential that Fatah and Hamas live in peace with each other.
- There is no such thing as Fatah and Hamas not meeting. They are meeting, and it is possible that they can take these talks further.
- The US has a historic responsibility in this process to stop Israel from this atrocity, to stop this massacre in Gaza.
- In my meeting with Biden, I reminded the U.S. of that historic responsibility and called on them to adopt the attitude that the whole world expects.
- While Turkey’s strategic and economic potential should have already achieved full membership to the EU, we have been stalled for years with various excuses. The EU should now give up this mistake.
- Israel is shooting not only Palestinians and Gaza but also humanity. History will judge and condemn those who remain silent.