President Joe Biden is “clear and unequivocal” about sending F-16s to Turkey, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.
“President Biden has been clear and unequivocal for months that he supported the transfer of F-16s to Turkey,” Sullivan told reporters at a news conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.
“It is in our national interest, it is in the interest of NATO for Turkey to get that capability,” he added.
“In his public and private comments in recent months, he has not placed any qualifications or conditions, and his intention is to continue with the transfer and consultations with Congress,” he added.
Asked about the timetable for the transfer of the F-16s, he said: “The president has said all along that he is interested in getting these F-16s for Turkey and has backed that by actually sending the dossier to Congress.”
“So we will work with Congress on the appropriate schedule to get them to Turkey. But I can’t speculate on the exact day it will happen, only that we support doing it,” he added.
His remarks came after Turkey gave the green light to Sweden’s NATO bid on Monday.
Ankara requested the United States for F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits in October 2021. The deal, worth $6 billion, would include the sale of 40 fighters and modernization kits for 79 fighter jets already in production in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force.