Biden administration to ask Congress to approve F-16 sale to Türkiye

The U.S. administration is preparing to get congressional approval for a $20 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, along with a separate sale of next-generation F-35 warplanes to Greece.

The package in question for sale to Türkiye includes 40 new F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits for 79 warplanes, while at least 30 F-35s are expected to be sold to Greece, according to the U.S. media.

The Biden administration is expected to give official information to Congress about the sales in the coming days. However, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who had previously announced that he would not approve the procurement to Türkiye, was one of the first to object.

"I will not approve this sale until Türkiye begins to act like a trusted ally should," said Menendez, also welcoming news of the sale of new F-35 fighter aircraft for Greece, referring to Athens as a "trusted NATO ally."

The administration intends the prospect of the sale to prod Türkiye to sign off on Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, which Ankara has blocked over accusations of providing a safe haven for the illegal PKK and FETÖ, and the Congress's approval of the sale is contingent on Türkiye's acquiescence, the U.S. media said.

The two countries ended decades of neutrality when they decided to join NATO last year in reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Under U.S. law, Congress can block a sale by passing a resolution of disapproval after formal notification of a sale, but it is unlikely to do so if President Joe Biden decides to go ahead despite lawmakers' objections.

At a NATO summit in Madrid last summer, Biden told reporters that he was supportive of the F-16 sales to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government. "We should sell," Biden...

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