Ankara aims swift conclusion of the F-16 sale from US

Ankara is aiming to swiftly conclude the ongoing talks with the United States over its request to purchase 40 new F-16 fighter jets and 79 modernization kits for the existing fleets, the top Turkish diplomat has said.

"This process should be finalized as soon as possible," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters at a joint press conference with visiting Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Istanbul on Oct. 14. The two ministers held preliminary talks before President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held bilateral talks and chaired the two countries' delegations.

On a question about the withdrawal of two conditions imposed by the U.S. senators on the sale of F-16s to Türkiye, Çavuşoğlu recalled that technical talks between Ankara and Washington were going very well and that the Biden administration was supporting this sale.

"The administration underlined that this sale will strengthen not only Türkiye but also NATO. Therefore it is in the interest of the U.S. as well," Çavuşoğlu said, expressing Ankara's firm stance on not accepting any conditions for the procurement of these weapons. "We had already told them that there would be no logic in buying these," he said, informing both the Biden administration and Ankara lobbied for making this sale possible at the U.S. Congress.

"I hope these talks will end without any problem. I should say that it won't be useful to buy some weapons that we cannot use," he noted.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, too, underlined that there were positive changes in the U.S. recently for the sale of the F-16s, stressing that both foreign and defense ministries are extensively working on this matter with their American counterparts.<...

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