US Clears Path for F-16s and Ankara Modernization, But Will Turkey Reassure Greece?

Turkish f-16 jet

The potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey and the modernization of its existing fleet are nearing approval, according to statements from the US State Department, which also indicate US support for the move. However, the path to finalization hasn't been smooth, encountering concerns from Congress that must be addressed.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller acknowledged that issues raised by lawmakers regarding Turkish actions, specifically potential violations of Greek sovereignty in the Aegean, had to be carefully considered and handled. "We had obstacles in Congress due to Turkey's actions that we had to overcome and work through," Miller stated, emphasizing their diligent efforts in addressing concerns.

The spokesman further clarified that the US government sees the F-16 modernization and the Swedish accession to NATO as separate matters, despite some Congressional voices attempting to link the two. Notably, Miller refrained from speculating on a specific timeline for the F-16 deal's completion, highlighting the importance of immediate steps by Turkey: "The best thing that could happen to lead to progress is for Turkey to take action as soon as possible to ratify Sweden's NATO membership."

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