Ankara expects smooth supply of F-16s: Çavuşoğlu

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has reiterated Ankara's expectation over the smooth supply of 40 new F-16s and 79 modernization kits for the existing fleets from the United States, saying that the matter waits for the approval of Congress.

"The U.S. Department of Defense forwarded it to the State Department. The administration informally notified Congress through the State Department. It is reported to the heads of the Foreign Relations Committee and the most experienced member of both wings," Çavuşoğlu said at a press conference with Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic on Jan. 16.

If Congress does not object to the demand of U.S. President Joe Biden, the process will finalize, Çavuşoğlu said, noting that there is a 51 percent possibility that Congress will reject the president's request. If so, the president can resend his request, and in that case, the request could only be rejected by a two-thirds majority, he added.

Pointing out that this scenario has not been seen very often in U.S. political history, Çavuşoğlu said, "Especially a senator constantly raises his objections. But you know that the previously submitted amendments have been cleared. We expect it to pass smoothly."

Çavuşoğlu underlined that Türkiye does not want the procurement under conditions.

Stating that Türkiye and the U.S. administration are in consensus, the minister said, "If [the U.S. administration] stands firm, there will be no problem. We do not want to buy equipment from a country that ties our hands conditionally."

Upon the Turkish government's request in late 2021, Ankara and Washington have been negotiating the sale of 40 new F-16 warfighters and 79 modernization kits after Türkiye was excluded from the joint F-35 fifth-generation...

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