US says fighter jet sale to Turkey ‘within the works’ — RT World Information

A senior US official denied reviews that Washington conditioned the deal on Ankara’s help for NATO enlargement

The US authorities helps Turkey’s efforts to modernize its air pressure and will quickly approve the sale of dozens of F-16 fighter jets, a senior Pentagon official stated, although famous that any deal nonetheless should be finalized.

Chatting with reporters throughout a distant press briefing on Wednesday, Assistant Secretary for Protection for Worldwide Safety Affairs Celeste Wallander stated the long-stalled sale could quickly go forward, months after Ankara requested to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16s and round 80 improve kits for its current fleet.

“These plans are within the works” however nonetheless have to make their manner by way of “contracting processes,” she stated, including that Washington is in favor of “Turkey’s modernization of its fighter fleet as a result of that could be a contribution to NATO safety and subsequently American safety.”

Turkey’s request for the planes final October adopted a heated dispute over the US’ latest fighter jet, the F-35, which Ankara helped to develop in a multinational procurement initiative. Although it had already spent some $1.4 billion on the plane, Turkey’s choice to buy Russian-made S-400 air protection methods in 2017 prompted a harsh response from Washington, which booted Ankara from the F-35 program and even positioned sanctions on some officers concerned within the S-400 sale.

The deal for F-16s and modernization kits was floated as a manner for america to compensate its NATO ally, which has lengthy maintained its personal fleet of the older jets, although till Wednesday US officers had stated little in regards to the progress of the association. 

In a uncommon official assertion on the problem final March, the State Division informed lawmakers such a sale could be according to US coverage goals, arguing that Turkey is “an essential deterrent to malign affect within the area.” It fell wanting an specific endorsement for any F-16 sale, nevertheless. 

Whereas Wallander’s feedback observe reviews that US lawmakers pressured the White Home to kill the weapons deal if Turkey blocked the accession of Finland and Sweden into the NATO bloc, a senior administration official denied any quid professional quo. 

“The US didn’t supply something to Turkey and was not requested for something by Turkey” in relation to NATO enlargement, the official stated, including that talks for F-16s had been ongoing however would require remaining approval from Congress.

Ankara initially opposed NATO functions from the 2 Nordic states, claiming they saved ties with terrorist teams, however reversed course earlier this week following talks with officers from all sides. Turkey was the only real member of the alliance to boost objections, and the deal now in place will doubtless clear the trail for Finnish and Swedish membership within the US-led army collective.

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