US should find a formula for F-16 sale to Türkiye: Kalın

The United Stated administration should generate a formula to overcome the congressional blockage in front of the sale of F-16 warplanes to Türkiye, a senior Turkish official said, rejecting any attempt to introduce conditionality, including the Swedish accession to NATO, to this procurement.

"This is the Biden administration that has to persuade the Congress. The administration said it endorses the F-16 sale. We welcome this but there are those who want to condition it with the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Another formula should be found," İbrahim Kalın, the chief foreign policy advisor and presidential spokesman, said in an interview to the private broadcaster, NTV, late on March 25.

"I don't know what that formula might be, but this is an internal matter of the U.S.," he added.

Türkiye demanded the supply of 40 new F-16 jetfighters and 79 modernization kits from the U.S. in order to reinforce its air forces after it was expelled from the F-35 fifth generation warplane program due to its procurement and deployment of the Russian S-400 air defense systems.

Washington said it supports the deal but underlines the need for a congressional approval. A bi-partisan group of congressmen appealed from the White House for the suspension of the arms deal with Türkiye because of its delaying of the accession processes of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

Recalling that he held talks in the U.S. with a number of congressmen as well as administration officials in mid-March, Kalın said "I told them 'If you put a condition with [regard to the membership of] Sweden and Finland, it would be an illogical mistake.' Distinguish these issues from each other."

Pressuring Türkiye over the NATO expansion is wrong and can trigger a...

Continue reading on: