US Congress says F-16 sale to Turkey depends on NATO approval
The US Congress cannot support the $20 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey until Ankara ratifies the NATO memberships of Sweden and Finland, a bipartisan group of senators said on Thursday.
Sweden and Finland applied last year to join the trans-Atlantic defense pact after Russia invaded Ukraine, but faced unexpected objections from Turkey and have since sought to win its support.
Ankara wants Helsinki and Stockholm in particular to take a tougher line against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terror group by Turkey and the European Union, and another group it blames for a 2016 coup attempt.
The three nations reached an agreement on a way forward in Madrid last June, but Ankara suspended talks last month following protests in Stockholm in which a far-right Danish politician burned a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.