F-16 bargains amid earthquake disaster

F-16 bargains amid earthquake disaster
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On his second day of a visit to Turkey after two years, U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu

Negotiations over Turkey's requested purchase of F-16 fighter jets have been the focus of a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken as the latter continued his two-day visit to the earthquake-stricken country two years after taking office.

At a press conference after the meeting at the presidential complex, Cavusoglu said Turkey expects the U.S. to lift the unilateral sanctions as soon as possible. The Turkish minister said the U.S. government is also expected to send a formal notification to Congress on the purchase of F-16 fighter jets, as finalizing the deal would be mutually beneficial.

Another issue in the meeting was Sweden and Finland's NATO accession.

Blinken said Washington strongly supports Sweden and Finland's quick NATO accession given steps they have already taken, even as his Turkish counterpart stressed the need for more concrete steps.

"The United States has strong support for the Nordic accession as quickly as possible... Sweden and Finland's NATO expansion is not a bilateral issue," he said.

Cavusoglu, alongside Blinken, said all parties in the alliance must convince Sweden in particular to take more action to address Ankara's concerns and win its support for the bid.

Blinken was also scheduled to hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday.