US to move forward with transfer of F-16 jets to Turkey

Washington will move ahead with the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey in consultation with Congress, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday, a day after Ankara gave the green light for Sweden to join NATO, Reuters reports.

Turkey requested in October 2021 to buy $20 billion of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes.

Speaking ahead of a summit of NATO leaders that started on Tuesday in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Sullivan said U.S. President Joe Biden “had been clear that he supports the transfer”.

“He has placed no caveats on this … He intends to move forward with that transfer,” Sullivan told reporters, without giving any details on the timing.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, a Democrat who had blocked the transfer, said on Monday he is in talks with the Biden administration about his hold and that he could make a decision “in the next week,” suggesting he could lift it.

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