Turkey welcomes the removal of US conditions on F-16 sale
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday has welcomed the removal of certain conditions over the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara from the final text of the US defense spending bill.
Approval of the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and completion of the purchase would serve "everyone's interest," Cavusoglu said during a joint press briefing with his Moldovan counterpart Nicu Popescu in Istanbul, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The process must be finalized “as soon as possible,” he said.
The US House of Representatives in July adopted an amendment to the NDAA to restrict the ability of Washington to sell F-16s to Turkey, unless the Biden administration “certifies that doing so is essential to US national security” and so long as Turkey does not make unauthorized overflights of Greece with the new planes. On Tuesday, the conditions on the sale have been dropped in the final text of the NDAA.
Last year, Turkey made an official request to buy 40 F-16s and some 80 modernization kits for its existing fleet, after Washington excluded it from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program over its acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense missiles in 2019.