President Biden has sent a letter to senior members of Congress urging them to quickly approve the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey as Ankara’s reward for approving Sweden’s NATO membership.
The Turkish parliament approved Sweden’s NATO bid on Tuesday, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed off on the ratification on Thursday. Erdogan had previously said that he expected to get the F-16s as part of a deal worth $20 billion once Sweden’s membership was approved.
Biden sent the letter to the top Republicans and Democrats on the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and urged them to approve the F-16 sale “without delay.”
According to The New York Times, the four members of Congress have not yet given their approval and might want more assurances from Turkey on certain issues, such as Turkey’s recent airstrikes against Kurds in Iraq and Syria. The deal is expected to ultimately be pushed through, but possibly not as quickly as President Biden would like.
Sweden still needs Hungary to approve its membership before it can join the alliance. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Thursday that he accepted an invitation to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to discuss Sweden’s accession into NATO.