Biden’s messages to Greece and Turkey about their military reinforcement – “Locked” meeting with Erdogan on F16

Joe Biden

The president of the USA Joe Biden spoke today (9.7.2023) during exclusive interview he gave to the CNN television network for the upcoming NATO Summit that will take place in Lithuania on July 11-22 and for the military reinforcement effort of both Greece and Turkey even making reference to the sale of F16 type fighter aircraft.

Joe Biden stated, among other things, that the Summit meeting of NATO it takes place at a time when Sweden wishes to join the Alliance, but faces resistance from both Turkey and Hungary. At this point, the president of USA he emphasized that he is optimistic about Sweden’s admission to NATO, since the “obstacle” is the upgrade of NATO’s fleet of Turkey’s F16 fighter jets, saying:

“Turkey is looking to modernize F16 aircraft. And (Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos) Mitsotakis in Greece is also looking for some help. So what I’m trying to do honestly is to achieve a partnership where we strengthen NATO in terms of the military capability of both Greece and Turkey to allow Sweden to join the Alliance.”

In a few words, notes, the US president seems to be revealing Washington’s attempt to negotiate with Turkey and Sweden for the latter’s accession to NATO, implementing Ankara’s request to upgrade its fighter fleet of F16 aircraft.

It is clear that this is a negative development for Athens, but on the other hand, the White House, according to Biden’s statements, seems to be pushing at the same time for the satisfaction of Greek intentions in terms of strengthening the Armed Forces, possibly with the supply of stealth fighter aircraft multi-role fifth generation type F35.

Biden – Erdogan meeting for F16 and Sweden

Soon after, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone call with Joe Biden.

Erdogan and Biden agreed to meet at the NATO summit in Vilnius to discuss Sweden’s application for membership. Erdogan argued that it is wrong to link Ankara’s request to buy F16s to Sweden’s NATO candidacy.

Erdogan also wants trade-offs from EU countries for Stockholm’s NATO candidacy.

The announcement of the Turkish presidency

According to the announcement of the Turkish presidency, as reported by OREN’s Turkey correspondent Maria Zaharaki:

“Our president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden.

During the conversation, Ukraine’s position in NATO, Sweden’s accession to NATO, the delivery of F16s and the process of Turkey’s full integration into the European Union (EU) were discussed.

The leaders agreed to meet four-on-one in Vilnius and discuss in detail Turkey-US bilateral relations and regional issues.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden has taken some steps in the right direction by making changes to anti-terror laws, but the fact that supporters of the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization are still freely holding demonstrations glorifying terrorism makes the steps which were done in vain.

President Erdogan also stated that it is not correct to associate Turkey’s request for F-16 with Sweden’s accession and thanked US President Biden for his support for Turkey’s request for F-16.

Stating that Turkey has principles and is sincere about Turkey’s EU membership, President Erdogan said that they want to revive the process of full EU membership and that they want the leading countries of the European Union and the EU leadership to give a clear and a strong message of support for Turkey’s inclusion in the Vilnius Summit”.

Dendia-Austin meeting for the F35s after the American intervention for the Turkish F16s
Earlier today, it became known that Nikos Dendias and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin are expected to meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, on the sidelines of the NATO Summit.

There, the Greek side, through Nikos Dendias, is expected to discuss the issue of the procurement of the ultra-modern 5th generation F35 fighter jets.

All this, while the Americans have started a new round of consultations with the allied countries, for the military reinforcement of Ukraine. Therefore, at the meeting of the two ministers, it is not excluded that the possibility of further assistance of our country in strengthening the Ukrainian forces will be discussed.

At the same time, the two ministers had a telephone conversation today. As announced by Mr. Dendias through his personal Twitter account, the focus was on the Greek-US defense relationship, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the situation in Ukraine.

Letter from American Congressmen about the F16 in Turkey

Before the above developments, six American congressmen called on the State Department to create an oversight mechanism to ensure that there will be no violation of Greek sovereignty in the Aegean by Turkey with the new F16 fighters if and as long as there is an agreement between Washington and Ankara.

The MPs in their letter call for the creation of a mechanism that will be able to ensure that Ankara does not take actions that undermine US strategic interests and the unity of the NATO alliance. That is, not to use them against Greece.

So, the hard bargain between the US and Turkey continues without Washington giving the “green light”.

The MPs fully support the creation of the oversight mechanism, which could – if Ankara is able to buy the American fighters – freeze, delay or even cancel the transfer of the F16s, depending on the behavior of the occupying power.

“Given Turkey’s history of using American F16s for overflights in the Aegean and for challenging Greek sovereignty, we request mechanisms that provide for the suspension, delay or withdrawal of the transfer of American weapons to Turkey if it continues its destabilizing actions in the Eastern Mediterranean that threaten or undermine US national security interests or NATO’s security architecture,” the letter states, among other things.

Finally, MPs call on Blinken to see the issue as reflected through the broader interests of the Western alliance. For this reason, they argue that efforts should not be limited to Sweden’s NATO membership, as they recall that both President Biden and White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently emphasized the importance of stability in the Aegean. While welcoming the recent de-escalation, US lawmakers point out that the doctrine of Turkish foreign policy remains unchanged, given that Ankara continues to maintain a casus belli against Athens and possesses the Russian S-400 system.

The letter is signed by MPs Chris Papas, Gus Bilirakis, Frank Palone, John Sarbanis, Dina Titus, and Nicole Malliotakis.

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