State Dept: Biden White House Backs Sale of F-16s to Turkey But Congress Must Be Onboard

F 16 fighter jets takes part in the NATO Air Shielding exercise near the air base in Lask, central Poland on October 12, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US State Department supports the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, but Congress has to also be on board since it is not solely up to the department to decide on the issue, spokesperson Ned Price said. “We’ve made clear to Congress our support for F-16s. Congress has made its position clear or, I should say, individual senators or groups of senators, in some cases, have made their positions clear. We’re continuing to engage Turkey, we’re continuing to engage the hill [Congress],” Price said during a press briefing on Thursday. “These are the types of decisions that our legislative colleagues, our colleagues in Congress also have a say over.” Price added that the State Department will continue to look for ways to deal with the issue of F-16 jets for Turkey together with Congress. Earlier on Thursday, a group of senators led by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Thom Tillis urged President Joe Biden in a bipartisan joint letter to delay selling F-16 fighter jets to Turkey until President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stops blocking the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. MilitaryTop Senator Vows to Block F-16 Sale Unless Turkey ‘Begins to Act Like a Trusted Ally’14 January, 03:59 GMTOn May 18, 2022, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership against the backdrop of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Their accession protocols have already been ratified by all NATO members except for Hungary and Turkey. Earlier in January, Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right Danish political party Stram Kurs, burned a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm after receiving permission to protest from the Swedish authorities. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the demonstration and said Sweden should not count on Ankara’s support for its NATO bid.


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