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Turkey’s Erdoğan expects US to return favor for approving Sweden’s NATO bid, sell F-16’s

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Turkey’s Erdoğan expects US to return favor for approving Sweden’s NATO bid, sell F-16’s

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Biden links Turkey's F-16 sale with Sweden's NATO bid in call to Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expects the US to respond in kind and sell Ankara F-16 fighter jets after the Turkish parliament approved Sweden’s NATO membership bid.

“As for the F-16 issue, we said to the other party: ‘The US has its Congress, and we have our own congress, that is, parliament, that will make a final decision [on approving Sweden’s bid]. As president, I submitted it [the ratification protocol] to parliament and you [the US] thanked me. I did my duty and now I expect something from you in return. Let’s take these steps together, simultaneously,” Erdogan said, speaking to reporters upon his return from a summit of Persian Gulf countries in Qatar.

He also said that Turkey was in talks on purchasing the Eurofighter European fighter jet in case the US refused to sell F-16 aircraft to Ankara. Erdogan added that Turkey also had other options in terms of next generation fighter jets.

Several years ago, Turkey requested that the US provide it with 40 F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and 80 Block 70 kits to repair and upgrade its existing planes. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier that some US Congress members suggested that aircraft deliveries be contingent on Ankara taking steps to make it possible for Sweden to join NATO. The media reported in early November that technical talks on Turkey’s purchase of F-16 fighter jets from the US were over and Ankara expected a positive decision on the matter.

Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler announced plans to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon planes at military budget hearings in parliament in mid-November. He noted that Ankara had already gotten consent from the UK and Spain and was trying to persuade Germany.

Source: TASS

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