Turkish, US defense chiefs discuss F-16 sale over phone
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed on Tuesday the sale of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits over a phone call, as well as other bilateral and regional issues, Turkey’s state owned Anadolu Agency said.
A Turkish military delegation headed to the US on August 15 for the technical talks on the transfer of F-16s to Turkey.
This is the fourth round of talks between the NATO allies since September, when Turkey presented its official letter of request for 40 new F-16 fighters and modernization kits for 79 aircrafts in its existing fleet.
Akar previously said the technical talks were going "positively."
Turkish Cumhuriyet Newspaper claimed that in this meeting the delegations were working on finalizing a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA), a document that breaks down all the financial and technical details of the sale.
The LoA, once ready, will be presented by the US Administration to Congress to get the approval necessary for the transfer of the fighter jets.
The US House of Representatives last month passed an amendment that would restrict the ability of the Biden Administration to sell or transfer the fighter jets to Turkey.
The amendment requires Biden to provide guarantees to Congress that in the 120 days prior to the transfer the Turkish government has not "violated the sovereignty of Greece, including through territorial overflights."
But the amendment, to become law, also needs to pass from the Senate. Turkey already expressed hope that the senators would abolish the amendment.