The sale of US F-16 fighter jets to Turkey is not subject to additional conditions, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday. His statement was a reaction to legislation by the US House of Representatives that would place additional requirements on the export of these aircraft to Turkey.
– Turkey is a strong country. You don’t have to make conditions like “if you don’t do it we will give it to you”. We continue negotiations at the level of military representatives and we hope that common sense will prevail – Agar said, quoted by Anatolia Agency.
The government in Ankara wants to buy 40 F-16 fighter jets of the latest version and modernize the 80 older types it already owns. US President Joe Biden pledged to support the deal at a NATO summit in late June, but the US Congress has yet to agree to it.
The House of Representatives passed the 2023 defense budget on Thursday. The legislation includes provisions that condition the sale of Turkish fighter jets on assurances from the US government that they are critical to US security. The document obliges the Biden administration to provide guarantees that weapons will not be used to violate Greek airspace. The amendment was adopted at the request of Democratic Congressman Frank Ballon.
– US officials spoke of Turkey as an important ally, and NATO officials spoke of Turkey’s successes in the fight against terrorism and immigration. How to explain this situation now? Vice and a group appear and start mixing using manipulation and misinformation. Agar opined that we expect America not to fall into this trap.
NATO members Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads over many issues for decades. Sea borders, underwater natural resources or a divided Cyprus. Both countries have accused each other of violating international law, including airspace violations.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mikhotakis visited the United States in May and urged a ban on the sale of Turkey’s fighter jets, after Erdogan announced he would no longer hold high-level talks with Athens.
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